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WHO Chief urges governments to unite against tobacco firms
Dr Margaret CHAN, Director-General of World Health Organization gave a keynote address at the Opening Ceremony of World Conference on Tobacco or Health to express that this conference will damage the health of the tobacco industry.

Dr Chan pointed out that tobacco industry has made use of aggressive tactics to undermine tobacco control campaigns. She described tobacco industry as enemy and “The wolf is no longer in sheep’s clothing, and its teeth are bared.”

The high-profile legal actions of tobacco industry targeting Uruguay, Norway, Australia, and Turkey are deliberately designed to instill fear in countries wishing to introduce similarly tough tobacco control measures.

The Australian Government is the first country to propose plain packaging policy but it has been sued by tobacco giant Philip Morris Asia. The tobacco industry is pushing for joint government-industry committees to vet or screen all policy and legislative matters pertaining to tobacco control in some countries.

Dr Chan called upon the heads of state and government to stand firm and fight back against industry and accelerate implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

174 states have ratified the WHO FCTC which has covered restriction of sales to minors and contents of tobacco products, etc.

“We’ve come a long way, bullies. We will not be fazed by your harassment. Your products kill nearly 6 million people each year. You run a killing and intimidating industry, but not in a crush-proof box. Tobacco industry: the number and fortitude of your public health enemies will damage your health. We can, and must, stop this industry’s massive contribution to sickness and death, dead in its tracks.” Dr Margaret Chan said.

Source : World Health Organization
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