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World Medical Association supports growing moves for plain tobacco packaging

Friday, April 17th 2015 - 03:16 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Dr. Xavier Deau said the WMA strongly supports the proposal for plain packaging, and “deplored the legal moves being taken by the tobacco industry” Dr. Xavier Deau said the WMA strongly supports the proposal for plain packaging, and “deplored the legal moves being taken by the tobacco industry”
WMA policy declares cigarettes are a serious threat to the life and health of individuals who use them and a considerable cost to the health care services WMA policy declares cigarettes are a serious threat to the life and health of individuals who use them and a considerable cost to the health care services

The World Medical Association has supported the increasing number of countries planning to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products, including Australia and France. This week it joined the Norwegian Medical Association in supporting proposals to introduce plain packaging in Norway.

 The WMA, in Oslo this week for its 200th Council meeting, was responding to a public consultation by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services suggesting that all tobacco products sold in Norway should have standardized packaging. The goal is to prevent tobacco use among children and young people. The consultation also discusses the possibility of stopping the influence of the tobacco industry on tobacco policy.

Dr. Xavier Deau, President of the WMA, said: ‘The WMA strongly supports this proposal for plain packaging. Four years ago we called on all national governments to follow the example of the Australian Government in introducing plain packaging to break the brand recognition and smoking cycle. We also deplored the legal moves being taken by the tobacco industry to oppose this. Now we have evidence from Australia that plain packaging does lead to a reduction in the take up of cigarettes and tobacco.'

WMA policy declares that cigarettes are a serious threat to the life and health of individuals who use them and a considerable cost to the health care services of every country. It says that those who smoke predominantly start to do so while adolescents and that there is a proven link between brand recognition and likelihood of starting to smoke. And it adds that brand recognition is strongly linked to cigarette packaging and that plain packaging reduces the impact of branding, promotion and marketing of cigarettes.

Dr. Hege Gjessing, President of the Norwegian Medical association, said: ‘I welcome the WMA's support. Tobacco is a serious threat to people's health. The Norwegian Medical Association has a long history of supporting restrictions on tobacco. We supported the ban on tobacco advertising in 1973, and then we supported the ban on smoking in aeroplanes and the ban on smoking in restaurants.'

Top Comments

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  • DennisA

    I am puzzled by the idea that plain packaging is supposed to prevent access by children. By removing branding, it opens the way for pirated products which may actually be more dangerous. The war on tobacco is generated by government funded lobby groups. We also have a war on sugar, we have had a war on fats which is now falling apart, we have a war on salt, also based on junk science, the medical zealots are taking over the world.

    I don't smoke, never have.

    Apr 17th, 2015 - 07:23 am 0
  • ChrisR

    Uruguay are facing multi-billion law suits from the US brand leader, now based in Switzerland.

    I think Uruguay would have to do an Argentina and refuse to pay because 3.3M people, every man, woman and child could not afford it.

    Apr 17th, 2015 - 12:03 pm 0
  • Skip

    It is amazing the lengths that tobacco companies are going to to prevent this.

    We had Ukraine suing us even though Ukraine doesn't grow tobacco nor sell it to us.

    It is working though. The tobacco companies are now publishing very selectively sourced reports showing that consumption in Australia is increasing.

    It isn't.

    About 3 weeks ago I watch in amazement when someone in the supermarket spent 10 minutes getting the checkout girl to find a cigarette packet that had “the foot”. Seems it was the least offensive packet for this drongo.

    Apr 17th, 2015 - 01:00 pm 0
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