News / Health

Pro-tobacco Forces Still Strong in Many Countries

Pro-Tobacco Forces Still Strong in Many Countriesi
|| 0:00:00
X
Vidushi Sinha
August 16, 2012 10:51 PM
The Australian High Court has upheld a tough law prohibiting tobacco companies from displaying their logos on cigarette packs. The European Union is considering a similar ban. But experts say the larger picture still favors tobacco use. A new international study carried out in 16 countries found that regulation of tobacco use in several is still weak. VOA’s Vidushi Sinha has more.

Pro-Tobacco Forces Still Strong in Many Countries

Vidushi Sinha
The Australian High Court has upheld a tough law prohibiting tobacco companies from displaying their logos on cigarette packs. The European Union is considering a similar ban. But experts say the larger picture still favors tobacco use. A new international study carried out in 16 countries found that regulation of tobacco use in several is still weak.

A study that compiled data on three billion tobacco users worldwide, including thousands of face to face interviews, shows that global tobacco use is greatly influenced by the pro-tobacco lobby. The study focused on tobacco use in 14 low and middle-income countries and made comparisons with two developed countries - the United States and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Gary Giovino at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health in New York State was the lead author.

“Tobacco contributes an enormous burden to the health care system in developed countries, and that scenario will play out in the not-too-distant future in low and middle income countries. It already has in many countries, in India for example," Giovino said.
 
Giovino’s data shows that China leads with some 300 million tobacco users, followed by India with almost 275 million. The researchers came across powerful pro-tobacco forces active even at the elementary school level.
 
“The China National Tobacco Company has supported elementary schools in China, dozens and dozens of them. And they use their support to promote propaganda about tobacco use, and they are basically telling students that genius comes from hard work and tobacco helps them to be successful. That to me is mind boggling, that a government would tell its children to use tobacco to be successful when tobacco will addict them and shorten their lives,” Giovino said.
 
The data shows that governments and social norms in many countries are receptive to influence from strong pro-tobacco forces.

So the Australian court decision is viewed as important in encouraging those fighting to control tobacco use. Jonathan Liberman directs the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer in Australia.

"It shows to everybody that the only way to deal with the tobacco industry's claims, sabre rattling, legal threats, is to stare them down in court. It's a fantastic decision for public health in Australia and globally," Liberman said.

The Buffalo survey concludes that, unless urgent action is taken, about a billion people will die prematurely in this century, losing 15 years of life on average. Dr. Giovino hopes the extensive data spurs many countries to implement policies that will save lives.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid