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World Lung Foundation Urges End to Youth Marketing on

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Contact:  Jorge Alday, Public Relations Manager  

 

World Lung Foundation Releases License-Free Video to Show the Realities of Tobacco Industry Marketing To Youth

(New York)  - Today the World Lung Foundation begins its commemoration of World No Tobacco Day2008,themed Tobacco-Free Youth, by urging organizations, governments and the public to take action to stop the tobacco industry from marketing its products to kids.  World No Tobacco Day occurs every year on May 31, and seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. This year's "Tobacco-Free Youth" theme promotes two main messages: 

  • Tobacco marketing poses a health threat and can increase disability and death
  • A total ban on advertising, sponsorship and promotion  reduces tobacco consumption amongst young people

Statistics from the World Health Organization show that most people start smoking before the age of 18; nearly a quarter of these individuals begin using tobacco before the age of 10.

The World Lung Foundation unveiled a video that incorporates images of children from all over the world smoking cigarettes, a consequence of the tactics used by tobacco companies to market to kids. The video, which can be translated into dozens of languages, is available license-free for organizations and government agencies to promote awareness of the tobacco industry's youth marketing strategy. Images were sourced from the World Lung Foundation Image Library, an online resource with images donated by amateur and professional photographers from around the world. The video may be viewed on the World Lung Foundation's website, beginning today.  

"Tobacco companies directly target our children, with the hopes of entangling them in a lifetime of dependence," said Peter Baldini, Executive Director of the World Lung Foundation.  "This year on World No Tobacco Day, the World Lung Foundation is calling on policy makers, organizations, and young people all over the world to work together to protect our children, and fight for a total ban on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco."

World No Tobacco Day seeks to unite policy-makers, NGOs, and young people in the effort to prevent tobacco companies from winning new and young customers through advertising and promotional schemes.  Tobacco companies spend billions of dollars each year on advertising to get kids to start smoking, and these tactics have proven to be effective.  According to the World Health Organization, pro-tobacco advertising and marketing strategies lead to a dramatic increase in tobacco experimentation by young people, which can then lead to addiction, disease and eventually death.

Smoking remains a critical and growing problem in many of the world's low to middle income countries -- and even some advanced emerging economies -- according to the MPOWER Report, issued by the WHO earlier this year:


In China:

  • 57% of adult males currently smoke tobacco on a daily basis
  • 42% of people are exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes
  • 67% of citizens are exposed to cigarette smoke in public
  • Medical costs from smoking impoverish more than 50 million people

In India:

  • 32% of adult males currently smoke tobacco on a daily basis
  • 27% of people are exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes
  • 40% of citizens are exposed to cigarette smoke in public
  • 20% of annual per capita income is needed to buy 100 packs of cigarettes

In Indonesia:

  • 52% of adult males currently smoke tobacco on a daily basis
  • 65% of people are exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes
  • 81% of citizens are exposed to cigarette smoke in public
  • The are no regulations preventing the sale of cigarettes to minors

In Mexico:

  • 22% of adult males currently smoke tobacco on a daily basis
  • 52% of people are exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes
  • 60% of citizens are exposed to cigarette smoke in public
  • The poorest 20% of households spend nearly 11% of their household income on tobacco

In Russia:

  • 60% of adult males currently smoke tobacco on a daily basis
  • 77% of people are exposed to cigarette smoke in their homes
  • 90% of citizens are exposed to cigarette smoke in public
  • Smoking kills about 400,000 of the roughly 143 million people in Russia every year

See WLF's World No Tobacco Day video

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About World Lung Foundation
World Lung Foundation is dedicated to improving global lung health by improving local capacity to conduct research, develop public policy and deliver public health education. The organization's areas of emphasis are tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, asthma, acute respiratory infections, child lung health and tobacco control. For more information, please visit http://www.worldlungfoundation.org.

 
World Lung Foundation
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212-542-8870 (main)   ·  info@worldlungfoundation.org
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