PAHO urges youth to help expose, resist tobacco industry deception

Washington: On this year’s World No Tobacco Day on May 31, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is calling on young people in the Americas to recognize, expose and resist the deceptive tactics used by the tobacco industry and its allies to recruit new, younger customers—at the eventual cost of millions of lives lost.
”The tobacco industry needs young people to buy their products, which may result in nicotine addiction, so that they become long-term consumers. This creates the opportunity to replace the 8 million people worldwide who die of tobacco-related causes every year. It is a matter of profits over people — an indefensible choice”, PAHO’s Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said.
Tobacco makers and their allies in the e-cigarette and related industries spend some nine billion dollars annually on aggressive marketing tactics, many of them specifically targeting children and youth. Youth are a significant market segment for the industry, since studies show that nine out of 10 smokers start before age 18. Globally more than 40 million young people aged 13 to 15 have already started to use tobacco.
With this year’s World No Tobacco Day campaign, PAHO and the World Health Organization (WHO) were seeking to debunk myths and expose the deception of marketing by the tobacco industry and its allies to recruit new customers, especially children and youth.