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Monday, 01 March 2010 01:40

Top health official calls tobacco companies "Bullies"

Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization, called tobacco companies 'ruthless, devious.' Chan says she is not on speaking terms with the 'bullies," the derogatory name she used to refer to the tobacco industry.

According to the 2.26.2010 AFP article 'World health chief slams tobacco industry 'bullies',' WHO director-general Margaret Chan, from the People's Republic of China, is not very happy with the way the tobacco industry is trying to bully its way into poor, developing countries of the world by increasing the incidences of smoking in those nations.

At a speech given at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland'”given to honor the fifth-year anniversary of an international treaty on tobacco control'”Margaret Chan made these remarks, "Like my predecessors, I am not on speaking terms with the tobacco industry, but I will say this: we've come a long way, bullies.' [AFP]

Learn more about the 2005 international treaty on the WHO website '2005 WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.' The treaty is backed by 168 countries around the world.

The WHO article states that the treaty ''¦ was adopted by the World Health Assembly on 21 May 2003 and entered into force on 27 February 2005. It has since become one of the most widely embraced treaties in UN history and, as of today, has already 168 Parties.'

The 2005 treaty ''¦ bans advertising and sponsorship, advocates tobacco taxes, legislation to make public places smoke-free and other restrictions to stifle a growth in smoking which is blamed for increasing heart disease, strokes and cancers.' [ATF]

Such enforcement policies in countries around the world include bans on smoking and tobacco products to children, health warnings on packages of cigarettes and other tobacco products, and high taxes on cigarettes (over 75% in some cases).

Page two continues the story of cigarettes, Big Tobacco, and WHO chief Margaret Chan.

Chan added, "The battle against opposition continues, especially in developing countries'¦. It is estimated that tobacco use kills more than five million people per year -- an average of one person every six seconds -- and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths worldwide.' [AFP]

Among Chan's descriptions of the tobacco industry are: "ruthless, devious, rich and powerful.' [AFP]

Chan continued to states these words: "Most alarming of all, tobacco use is actually increasing in many developing countries. If Big Tobacco is in retreat in some parts of the world, it is on the march in others.' [AFP]

Chan noted that women are a prime target of the tobacco industry in poor countries of the world.

Chan adds, "In these countries as elsewhere, girls and women are a market with attractive and lucrative growth potential, and they are likewise being targeted.'

For additional information on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), please read the 2.26.2010 United Nations (UN) article 'UN tobacco control convention marks fifth anniversary.'

It begins with the following statements: 'The United Nations tobacco control convention -- called a true triumph for public health by the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) and among the most widely embraced treaties in UN history - turns five today."

'The tobacco industry is ruthless, devious, rich, and powerful. As we all know, neither WHO nor public health is rich, but with the Framework Convention now in place, we are indeed powerful,' said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, in her opening remarks at today's celebration in Geneva of the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC)."

Page three concludes.

To learn more about tobacco and cigarettes, please go to the World Health Organization's website 'Tobacco.'

It begins, 'Tobacco products are products made entirely or partly of leaf tobacco as raw material, which are intended to be smoked, sucked, chewed or snuffed. All contain the highly addictive psychoactive ingredient, nicotine.'

'Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Despite this, it is common throughout the world. A number of countries have legislation restricting tobacco advertising, and regulating who can buy and use tobacco products, and where people can smoke.'

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