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Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship

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Poster for World No Tobacco Day 2013

27 May 2013 – This year, the theme of World No Tobacco Day is a comprehensive ban of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. For decades, marketing activities have been shown to increase the consumption and sale of virtually any product, yet the tobacco industry continues to deny the link. The industry claims that tobacco marketing neither convinces smokers to smoke more nor persuades non-smokers to start. It claims it merely supports healthy competition and motivates existing smokers to switch brands. 

Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people a year. By 2030, it will kill more than 8 million people every year, with more than 80% of these preventable deaths among people living in low- and middle-income countries.

Evidence shows that comprehensive bans help reduce tobacco use and counter: the misleading nature of tobacco marketing campaigns; the failure of the tobacco industry to effectively self-regulate; and the ineffectiveness of partial bans.

Only 6 out of 23 countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region are fully protected from exposure to the tactics of the tobacco industry’s advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Also, evidence has found that 15% of young people in the Region own an object with a tobacco company logo or other cigarette branding, while 9% have been offered free cigarettes by a tobacco company representative.

Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship are critical tools for the industry to ensure its visibility and continued physical and political expansion. The industry has, and continues, to use advertising, promotion and sponsorship to glamorize its deadly products, making it difficult for people to imagine the disease, disability and premature death that can come with use of its product.

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, WHO calls upon governments, parliamentarians, and local, national and international partners to comprehensively ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship by:

  • implementing Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its guidelines.
  • countering the tobacco industry’s efforts to undermine tobacco control.
  • taking the maximum measures possible to control direct and indirect advertising.

World No Tobacco Day 2013 site

Press release