WHO calls for complete tobacco ad ban

June 3, 2008

In an effort to protect the world's youth from the addictive effects of smoking, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a worldwide ban on the advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship of all tobacco products.

In an effort to protect the world's youth from the addictive effects of smoking, the World Health Organization (WHO) called for a worldwide ban on the advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship of all tobacco products.

According to the WHO, most people worldwide start smoking before the age of 18, and nearly a quarter of those begin before age 10. A global WHO study of school children ages 13 to 15 found that more than 55% of students reported seeing cigarettes ads on billboards in the previous month, while 20% owned an item with a cigarette brand logo on it.

Only 5% of the world's population is covered by comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, the WHO stated. In addition, the WHO stated that tobacco companies market their products most heavily to youth in the developing world, a population that comprises 80% of the world's 1.8 billion young people.