World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Tobacco proliferates, broader regulation needed

As new forms of tobacco use proliferate, UN health agency calls for broader regulation

Confronting the rapid spread and growing variety of smoked and smokeless tobacco products and their increasing use by young people, the United Nations health agency today called for urgent and broader regulation of what is the leading preventable cause of death globally, killing 5 million people each year.

“Tobacco can kill in any guise, regardless of whether you smoke it, chew it or inhale it through a water pipe, and that is why all products containing tobacco need to be regulated immediately, in all forms, worldwide,” the Director of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Tobacco Free Initiative, Yumiko Mochizuki-Kobayashi, said in a statement on the eve of this year’s World No Tobacco Day.

“We are faced with a unique public health challenge, as many tobacco products remain unregulated,” she added.

The variety of tobacco products manufactured and marketed worldwide continues to expand. New types of flavoured, “natural” or “organic” and roll-your-own cigarettes are often advertised and marketed with names and packaging that might mislead consumers into believing that they are less dangerous than conventional cigarettes.

Smokeless tobacco products, such as snus and snuff, previously popular in a limited number of countries, are being marketed heavily elsewhere to specific target groups.

These include women in cultures where it is not socially acceptable for them to smoke; young people presented with flavoured and milder-tasting “starter” products); and smokers as an alternative in smoke-free environments. At the same time, forms of non-cigarette smoking, such as water pipes, are gaining wider acceptance around the world, especially among young people in cafés and on college campuses.

Dr. Mochizuki-Kobayashi stressed the urgent need for countries to implement stricter regulation of all forms of tobacco products, as required by the global tobacco treaty, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Results from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, a joint WHO and United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative, show that in many countries the prevalence of use of tobacco products other than cigarettes (11.2 per cent) among adolescents is higher than that of cigarette use (8.9 per cent). In addition, in many countries adolescent girls are reporting similar rates of tobacco use to adolescent boys.

This is different from adult data, which generally show higher rates for males than females. These findings suggest that countries should enforce comprehensive control programs focusing especially on girls, and on all forms of tobacco use.

Cigarettes are the only legal product that kills half of its regular users when consumed as intended by the manufacturer. But for all tobacco products, including cigarettes, information on ingredients and toxin deliveries remains inadequate. This gap needs to be filled with appropriate country-level regulation and further research, WHO said.

Tobacco use is the cause of 90 per cent of lung cancer cases and is linked to many other types such as cervical or kidney cancer, as well as emphysema, bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory diseases. Health risks also include oral, throat and neck cancer, as well as heart attacks, stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and infertility.

Tobacco use continues to expand most rapidly in the developing world, where half of tobacco-related deaths occur. By 2020, if current trends continue, 7 out of every 10 tobacco-related deaths will be in the developing world.

“Tobacco use is the major contributor to what is now a global chronic disease epidemic,” Catherine Le Galès-Camus, WHO’s Assistant Director-General, Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health, said. “Regulating all forms of tobacco products cannot be delayed. It is vital to any effective tobacco control programme, and a must if we are to control this epidemic.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news