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May 31, 2016

On World Tobacco Day Entities Work to Reduce Attraction to Tobacco

The World Health Organization is pressing for plain packaging to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products. On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, the W.H.O. Director-General, Doctor Margaret Chan, says it is appropriate for a product that kills people. Activities organized today by the National Drug Abuse Control Council had the same message. News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke today to the Belize representative from W.H.O.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

There is presently a push by the World Health Organization to introduce plain or standardized packaging of tobacco products, restricting or prohibiting the use of logos, colors and brand images.  The idea is to reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products, including cigarettes, and increase the effectiveness of health warnings.

 

Luis Roberto Escoto

Luis Roberto Escoto, Country Representative, WHO/PAHO

“In the world, around six million people every year die from tobacco consumption.  It affects all of the persons who are smokers and non-smokers because the problem produced from secondhand smoke is very high.  Almost six hundred thousand people die and other problems of health: respiratory diseases, allergies, premature births, et cetera.”

 

Today is being celebrated universally as World No Tobacco Day.  The theme for this year is fitting, Get Ready for Plain Packaging.  It highlights this new trend in global efforts to control tobacco products.  To mark the event, the World Health Organization is introducing a new guide to plain packaging, which provides government with the latest evidence and guidance on implementing the measure.

 

Luis Roberto Escoto

“There are many activities that the world is doing in raising awareness about tobacco use.  This activity, TV shows are champions and leaders in the not-consuming-tobacco movement in the world.  The media, you have a very important role in prevention and control of this epidemic.  This year the theme is plain packaging to produce packaging without any advertising colors, only warning for people about the dangers of tobacco use.”

 

Tobacco-related illness is one of the leading public health threats the world has had to face.  On average, one person dies from a tobacco-caused disease every six seconds, the equivalent of almost six million persons annually.  It is anticipated that by 2030, that number would have ballooned to more than eight million people.  Eighty percent of these preventable deaths occur among low and middle income populations. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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