Today is World No Tobacco Day. And the World Health Organisation is calling on goverments to ban all tobacco advertisements. This is another step towards preventing young people taking up smoking. About time, I say!
The WHO has accused manufacturers of using increasingly sophisticated marketing techniques to ensare young people, particularly girls in poorer countries. The UN agency says the more they are exposed to tobacco advertising, the more likely people will start smoking.
In Russia, which has few anti-smoking laws, the number of female and adolescent smokers has tripled in the last decade. However, in Canada, where smoking and cigarette advertising has been severely restricted, numbers of smokers are at their lowest in 40 years.
The WHO also accused manufacturers of continuing to attract young people by "falsely" associating cigarettes with "glamour, energy and sex appeal". Most smokers take up the habit before the age of 18, with almost a quarter of those before the age of 10, according to the organisation. (BBC)