"Tobacco industry has blood on its hands," says WHO representative on World No Tobacco Day

The tobacco industry has blood on its hands and it targets young people, WHO representative to India Roderico H Ofrin said on Friday.


ANI | Updated: 31-05-2024 23:38 IST | Created: 31-05-2024 23:38 IST
"Tobacco industry has blood on its hands," says WHO representative on World No Tobacco Day
WHO Representative to India Roderico h ofrin (Photo/ANI). Image Credit: ANI
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The tobacco industry has blood on its hands and it targets young people, WHO representative to India Roderico H Ofrin said on Friday. In his address on World No Tobacco Day in Delhi, the WHO representative said on Friday, "The tobacco industry has blood on its hands. It designs and sells products that kill half of its users prematurely. And that's why they have to keep recruiting new users. And that, sadly, is the youth. You have to start them young so that they can earn more because eventually, they'll stop if they get sick."

Further, he mentions a report released by WHO and states that according to the report, 'Hooking the Next Generation' the tobacco and nicotine industry designs products that look like gadgets or toys and implements marketing campaigns. "A new report by WHO and partners called 'Hooking the Next Generation', I would like to do a bit of, highlights how the tobacco and nicotine industry designs products, you've seen, it looks like gadgets or toys implements marketing campaigns, they use Netflix, Amazon, everywhere, and works to shape policy environments that addict the world's youth sponsoring sports events," Roderico H Ofrin said.

"The latest Global Youth Tabaco survey 2019 from India has started and is very worrying and timely. Tobaco prevalence is 8.4 per cent among 13 to 15 years old school children," he added. WHO representative also reports that 11.4 per cent of children start smoking cigarettes before they turn 7, and 24 per cent use smokeless tobacco products like hookah, and Zabut. This shows that the tobacco industry's strategy of targeting young children is effective.

WHO representative underscored that the tobacco industry uses knowledge about addiction, social marketing, and advertising very effectively. "The science that we know about addictiveness, social marketing, ads, is being used by the tobacco industry so efficiently. The World No Tobacco Day 2024 theme of protecting children from tobacco industry interference is not just a call to action, but a critical imperative for protecting future generations," said Roderico H Ofrin.

"We must join hands to shield young people from manipulative practices by sensitizing the public about the tobacco industry's tactics to create new markets, and protect tobacco control policies from industry influence," he added. Roderico H Ofrin mentions that, like India, new measures are needed to counter the tobacco industry's tactics.

"So like India is doing, it's updating its app. Before it was just TV and films. A new amendment was put in for up over the top like Netflix, Amazon, et cetera. Because the industry will find a way to escape. Exposing industry tactics through innovative approaches," said Roderico H Ofrin. "India is a global leader in regulating tobacco depiction ODP platforms and enacting the prohibition of electronic cigarettes. The act was which adopted in 2019. These indeed are phenomenal achievements, and we should hold on to that. However, we must not forget the industry is always on the prowl and trying to find a way," he added,

He ended his address by stating, "We must act together now to expose the deception and protect the youth, and spread the message that is smart, don't stop." (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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