Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

protect children from interference from the tobacco industry

By Vaseline May31,2024

May 31 is World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This year, WHO and public health champions from around the world will come together again to raise awareness about the harmful impacts of the tobacco industry on young people.

Protecting children from tobacco industry interference

This theme of WNTD 2024 focuses on advocating an end to the targeting of young people with harmful tobacco products. This discourse provides a platform for youth, policymakers and tobacco control advocates worldwide to discuss the issue and urge governments to implement policies that protect youth from the manipulative practices of the tobacco and related industries. Although cigarette smoking has declined over the years due to phenomenal efforts by the tobacco control community, more needs to be done to protect these vulnerable groups.

According to 2022 data, at least 37 million youth between the ages of 13 and 15 use some form of tobacco worldwide. In the WHO European Region, 11.5% of boys and 10.1% of girls aged 13 to 15 are tobacco users (4 million).

Why the Tobacco Industry Targets Youth

To continue generating billions of dollars in revenue, the tobacco industry must replace the millions of customers who die and those who stop using tobacco every year. To achieve this goal, the company works to create an environment that promotes adoption of its products by the next generation, including lax regulations to ensure its products are available and affordable. The industry also develops products and advertising tactics that appeal to children and adolescents and reaches them through social media and streaming platforms.

Products such as electronic cigarettes and nicotine pouches are gaining popularity among young people. It is estimated that in 2022, 12.5% ​​of adolescents in the European region used e-cigarettes, compared to 2% of adults. In some countries in the region, e-cigarette use among schoolchildren is two to three times higher than the number of cigarettes smoked.

The industry is deliberately selling a deadly dependency to young people. That is why WNTD 2024 calls on governments and the tobacco control community to protect current and future generations and hold the tobacco industry accountable for the harm it causes.

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