Tuesday, 31 May 2016

World Health Organisation calls for plain packaging of tobacco products #WorldNoTobaccoDay

Tobacco-related illness is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. According to the World Health Organisation statistics, approximately 1 person dies from a tobacco-caused disease every 6 seconds, equivalent to almost 6 million people a year. This is forecast to rise to more than 8 million people a year by 2030, with more than 80% of these preventable deaths occurring among people living in low-and middle-income countries.

Every year, on 31 May, WHO and partners mark World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

"Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people," says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.

For World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2016, WHO and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling countries to get ready for plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products.

Plain packaging is an important demand reduction measure that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.

Plain packaging of tobacco products refers to measures that restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style.

Guidelines to Articles 11 and 13 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) recommend that Parties consider adoption of plain packaging.

Plain packaging builds upon other measures as part of a comprehensive multisectoral approach to tobacco control. Policy makers, civil society and the public can take action to ensure that their governments consider adoption of plain packaging.

In December 2012, Australia became the first country to fully implement plain packaging. On 20 May 2016, France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland each began implementation of plain packaging. Ireland is also preparing to introduce the measure, while other countries are exploring the option.

Source: WHO