WHO Official Accused Tobacco Industry For Dirty Tricks

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Director General of the World Health Organization Margaret Chan urged the governments to be united against the big tobacco companies who make use of dirty tactics, bullying and immoral practices in their hopes making people desire and patronize smoking. According to her, large tobacco companies and firms by making use of lawsuits in order to defeat national regulations and international agreements and treaties aimed at curbing smoking among people worldwide.

“It is horrific to think that an industry known for its dirty tricks and dirty laundry could be allowed to trump what is clearly in the public’s best interests,” Chan noted during a WHO meeting in the Manila, Philippines on Monday. She made mention  of the legal suits filed by tobacco industries against tobacco regulations in Australia and Uruguay. She said that these lawsuits are merely scare tactics which are intended to frighten other countries from similar lawsuits.

“It is hard for any country to bear the financial burden of this kind of litigation, but most especially so for small countries,” she noted. “Big tobacco can afford to hire the best lawyers and PR firms that money can buy. Big money can speak louder than any moral, ethical or public health argument and can trample even the most damning scientific evidence”.

Chan called the countries’ leaders during the said meeting to retaliate and be wary about these things. “I urge all these countries to stand firm together, do not bow to pressure… we must never allow the tobacco industry to get the upper hand,” she pleaded.

Chan also emphasized the successful efforts of the Philippines in legislating and imposing taxes related to control of tobacco products. She also said that the WHO is behind those countries who want to step up in controlling tobacco use among countries. However, she did not specify how the organization would extend its help to those countries. For many years now, the World Health Organization has been aggressive in banning cigarette advertisement and promotion, including limiting and banning smoking in public places, as well as imposing higher taxes for such products.

In Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her administration is planning to introduce the world’s first legislation which will require all cigarette companies to sell their products in plain packaging, starting January 2012. In retaliation, Philip Morris has warned that this certain legislation violates international trade obligations and rules and threatened the government that they are expecting billions of dollars in compensation in case they file a lawsuit.

However, in defense of the government, Department of Health Secretary Jane Halton stated that this is a mere tactic of the bigwig tobacco companies and the government is not threatened to push through with their plans.

“We stand ready to repel the assault of big tobacco but we acknowledge it will be a big fight,” Halton shared to the WHO delegates. According to the World Health Organization, about 3,000 people die each day in the Western Pacific due to tobacco smoking.

 

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  1. Hey MS CHAN,Why don’t you go after all the ALCOHOL companies and their ADVERTISING ? Why don’t you Go after ALCOHOL’S dirty tricks that SAY DRINKING ALCOHOL is good for YOU .I would think with Alcohol being the biggest killers of others and the drinkers in the WORLD you would attack IT .Just in the USA it costs the US public $ 280 Billion a year for its use,So You prove to me that SMOKING comes anywhere close to that,and Prove to me Smoking KILLS OTHERS…I know you cant prove NOTHING to that effect…So get busy on ALCOHOL you will be doing the WORLD A LOT OF GOOD .WAKE UP LADY

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  1. [...] Australian plain package saga drags on The new cause of drag is the Conservative opposition in the Senate questioning the wisdom of the policy, and so delaying a vote. Supporters of the proposal immediately leaped into full paranoia/denial/Orwell mode, suggesting that any opposition to them must be about tobacco company interests. Meanwhile, the UN is shocked! shocked! that cigarette companies whose core assets (brand identity) would effectively be confiscated by this policy are taking legal action, and this action might discourage other countries from pursuing the same treaty-violating policies. The bastards. http://f2cscotland.blogspot.com/2011/10/bad-news-day-for-australian-government.html http://www.healblog.net/health-news/who-official-accused-tobacco-industry-for-dirty-tricks/ [...]

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