GENEVA, May 27 On World No Tobacco Day, 31 May, theInternational Union Against Cancer (UICC) joins the World Health Organizationin calling for a comprehensive ban on all forms of advertising, promotion andsponsorship of tobacco products.
Globally, most smokers start smoking before the age of 18. Almost onefourth begin before they are ten. The younger children are when they first trysmoking, the more likely they are to become regular tobacco users and the lesslikely they are to quit.
Advertising is a net deliberately set by the tobacco industry to entrapthem into addiction.
"It's time to break the tobacco marketing net and set our children andyoung people free," says UICC executive director Isabel Mortara. "One of themost effective ways to protect them from addiction, illness and prematuredeath is to ban all forms of direct and indirect tobacco advertising -including promotion of tobacco products and sponsorship by the tobaccoindustry of any events or activities."
Whether they smoke or not, almost half the world's children - 700 million- are regularly exposed to the toxic effects of second-hand smoke.
UICC is promoting a global competition for a universally recognized symbolto identify places children are free from environmental tobacco smoke. Thesymbol should be a graphic image without words and communicate acrosscultures.
The UICC competition is open to children and adults, creative agencies,art schools, and UICC member organizations. The deadline for entries is 30June. The winner will attend the World Cancer Congress in Geneva, Switzerland,27-31 August, to present the symbol and receive a US$5,000 cash prize.
The competition for a smoke-free symbol is part of "I love my smoke-freechildhood", launched on World Cancer Day, 4 February 2008, as the first full-year theme in a five-year global cancer prevention programme focusing onchildren and young people. For more information, visitwww.worldcancercampaign.org .
The International Union Against Cancer: UICC is the leading internationalnon-governmental organization dedicated exclusively to the global control ofcancer, linking 300 member in almost 100 countries. See www.uicc.org .
More information on World No Tobacco Day is available at www.who.int.
SOURCE International Union Against Cancer