Lebanon - marketing tobacco products encouraged people to smoke with CNN Video....

March 26, 2010 - BEIRUT: The National Tobacco Control Program within the Health Ministry lashed out Wednesday, March 24th at the interference of advertising associations in the law proposal for tobacco control, and it blamed them for smoking-related illnesses.

“Among all countries in our region, Lebanon has among the highest rates of tobacco smoking, as well as the highest rate of cancer cases. It is specifically the tobacco industry and its partners who are to be blamed for this ongoing epidemic,” the program said in a statement.

The Lebanese Syndicate for Advertising Agencies and the International Advertising Association asked the Parliamentary Administration and Justice Committee last week to reconsider its law proposal to ban tobacco advertising, claiming the advertisement sector would be harmed.

The program responded to these claims by saying the syndicate was involved in earlier meetings about the law proposal and that tobacco advertisements only harmed the consumers.

“Advertisements should promote healthy products to the public, not [ones] that have been proven to kill over half of its users,” the statement said, noting that over 3,500 in Lebanon died yearly from smoking.

It said marketing tobacco products encouraged people to smoke, especially youth and children, and turned them into addicts. – The Daily Star

Reference: Health Ministry blames advertising for smoking illnesses by The Daily Star, 3/25/2010.

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