Left Menu
Development News Edition

Why UNO locked horns with the world’s largest cigarette vendor for a name – ‘World No Tobacco Day’?

Tobacco producers implying strategic communication and innovative tobacco products to dodge awareness campaigns and regulations. Even a slight change in the message will give them huge scope for communication campaigns of new age tobacco products.

Siddheshwar ShuklaSiddheshwar Shukla | Updated: 01-06-2019 02:58 IST | Created: 31-05-2019 14:48 IST
Why UNO locked horns with the world’s largest cigarette vendor for a name – ‘World No Tobacco Day’?
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

What's in a name? The age-old adage seems to have become old enough to understand the business strategies of tobacco giants as the world's largest cigarette vendor - Philip Morris International; is burning the midnight oil to replace one out of the four worlds of United Nations Organisation's (UNO) campaign against tobacco consumption. The global cigarette giant is hell-bent to get the word 'tobacco' replaced by 'smocking' in the slogan of UNO - World No Tobacco Day.

As the global market of tobacco products is estimated to reach $ 450 billion by 2022, the tobacco manufacturing giants are out to grab the biggest pie so implying all the possible tricks in their kitty including tweaking the central message of World No Tobacco Day. This has caused catfight between tobacco producers and regulators throughout the globe and the efforts to checkmate each other continue. The tobacco giants are coming up with innovating products and strategic communication while later redefining regulations to counter those attempts.

A day before the UNO was going to observe the World No Tobacco Day' on May 31, the world's largest cigarette vendor Philip Morris International (PMI), the maker of Marlboro, on Thursday came out with a communication strategy to digest the awareness campaign. PMI, apparently to carve out space for the communication strategy of its new vaping and heated tobacco products, announced to co-opt international efforts to create awareness against tobacco consumption and the world's tobacco smoking epidemic. As the new age cigarettes like e-cigarettes are smoke-free PMI in its message pushed for the rebranding of the 'World No Tobacco Day' observed every year on Mary 31, as 'World No Smoking Day'. PMI also launched its own campaign 'It's Time to Unsmoke' to observe May 31. The company claims that the smoke-free products are less harmful than traditional cigarettes insisting they release fewer toxins. "We regard the PMI campaign as little more than a cynical attempt by the company to promote its deadly products," said Vinayak Prasad, head of WHO's Tobacco Free Initiative. However, the UNO has denounced the campaign PMI still can carry on with its strategic messaging to give a reason to tobacco consumers and trap them as their potential consumers particularly youths. However, has the UNO approved the proposed tweak in the campaign it would have opened a huge scope for strategic communication of tobacco product manufacturers.

This is not a standalone attempt by the tobacco giants but the e-cigarettes are also similar products to which the tobacco giants are trying their best through strategic communication. The e-cigarette is smoke-free and uses liquid tobacco which gives out aerosol to be consumed by the tobacco consumer. However, UNO has been rubbishing their claims but the manufactures always cite some researches to back their communication campaigns. The Indian government has recently come out with a circular banning any kind of research, debate and discussion on e-cigarettes in the country. However, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is already conducting research for critical review and compilation of all such reports. Several governments including India have either banned e-cigarettes or grouped them under the same category of cigarette.

The communication campaign is the most important aspect for the penetration of any product to which the manufacturers took help of researchers, medical practitioners and media as well. This is because positive communication campaign is prerequisite for penetration of the product. However, any compromise in the awareness campaign of UNO would adversely affect, Good Health and Well Being which has been adopted as SDG 4 (Sustainable Development Goal) by the UNDP.

In addition to the health hazards to tobacco consumers, the industry is also a health burden on labourers engaged for production. According to media reports the three cigarette giants of the world - Philip Morris, British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands, buy tobacco leaves from contractors who are based on exploited African migrants working in Italy's multi-million-euro industry. Italy is the EU's leading tobacco producer. In 2017, the industry was worth 149 million Euros. Besides, they suffer from various ailments.

Siddheshwar Shukla is Associate Editor with Devdiscourse.


  • FIRST PUBLISHED IN:
  • Devdiscourse News Desk

TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

Trump administration says pandemic aid saved 51 mln jobs. Did it?

U.S. President Donald Trumps administration touted its 660 billion small business pandemic aid program this week as a wild success, unveiling data that showed the initiative saved 51 million jobs.But there were red flags throughout the colo...

55-year-old man held for raping cow in Bhopal

A 55-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly raping a cow at a dairy in Sundar Nagar here, police said on Tuesday. Alok Srivastava, Ashoka Garden Police Station In-Charge, Bhopal said that incident took place on July 4 and the accused ...

Blackhawks stand by team name amid scrutiny

The Chicago Blackhawks have no intention to put their team name on ice. As the NFLs Washington Redskins and MLBs Cleveland Indians consider changes to their names and logos, which critics say demean Native Americans, the Blackhawks issued a...

Colombia coronavirus lockdown extended until Aug. 1

Colombias national lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus will be extended by just over two weeks until Aug. 1, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 124,400 cases of the novel coronavirus an...

Give Feedback