Vice Squad
Thursday, December 11, 2003
India to Curb Tobacco Ads

About 16 percent of India's adult population smokes cigarettes, though
the gender breakdown is amazingly uneven: 2.5% of the women and
29.4% of the men. (In the US, in contrast, more than 20 and less than
30 percent of both men and women (and older youths!) smoke.) The
Indian government now intends to eliminate most forms of tobacco
advertising, according to this BBC report. Sponsorship of sporting
events by tobacco companies is already verboten in India (and many
other countries): "...the new rules would ban tobacco advertisements
on television, radio and the print media."

A comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising has been called for by
the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco
Control (pdf version)
. "With this ban, India will be the seventh
country to ratify the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
which was adopted unanimously by the World Health Assembly four
years ago." The WHO's current list of parties to the convention only
lists five countries, however: Fiji, Malta, Norway, Seychelles, and
Sri Lanka.

Incidentally, per capita cigarette consumption in India is much, much
lower than in the US, well below what the difference in prevalence
rates alone would lead one to suspect. Indians on average smoke
129 cigarettes per year, while Americans smoke some 2,255. Data
on international tobacco comparisons are available here (pdf format).

Vice Squad, starved for material, has looked at tobacco advertising bans
in the past.

Labels: , , ,

Powered by Blogger