YEARLY, the World Health Organization (WHO), together with its global partners, is celebrating the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).
The annual campaign which is held every May 31 is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is, of course, “tobacco and lung health” which aims to increase awareness on: the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease; and the fundamental role which the lungs play for the health and well-being of the people.
The campaign also serves as a call to action, advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and engaging stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for tobacco control.
But the objective of the World No Tobacco Day 2019 campaign is to raise awareness on the:
* Risks posed by tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke exposure;
* Awareness on the particular dangers of tobacco smoking to lung health;
* Magnitude of death and illness globally from lung diseases caused by tobacco, including chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer;
* Emerging evidence on the link between tobacco smoking and tuberculosis deaths;
* Implications of second-hand exposure for lung health of people across age groups;
* Importance of lung health to achieving overall health and well-being; and,
* Feasible actions and measures that key audiences, including the public and governments, can take to reduce the risks to lung health posed by tobacco.
Following this development, WHO is urging governments to enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship at sporting events, including when hosting or receiving broadcasts of Formula 1 and MotoGP events.
Because of this, WHO is also urging all sporting bodies, including Formula 1 and MotoGP, to adopt strong tobacco-free policies that ensure their events are smoke-free and their activities and participants, including race teams, are not sponsored by tobacco companies.
These calls come in the light of tobacco companies establishing new partnerships with motor-racing teams.
The WHO believes that comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship can reduce the consumption of tobacco products, including among young people.
Article 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) obliges Parties to the Convention to implement a comprehensive ban (or restrictions) on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
The definitions of “tobacco advertising and promotion” and “tobacco sponsorship” are broad and cover activities with the effect or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use either directly or indirectly.
The actions of the companies result in advertisement and promotion of tobacco products and tobacco use to the world at large, including young people.
Tobacco product advertising and promotion occurs both in countries that host events and in countries that receive transmissions of these events.
WHO is urging the different governments to implement their domestic laws banning tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.
This may include issuing penalties applicable under domestic laws and taking preventative actions. (firstname.lastname@example.org/PN)