ABU DHABI: World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan urged global action Wednesday to drive tobacco companies “out of business” and hailed progress in tackling smoking in many countries.
Speaking at the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi, Chan welcomed steps taken by several countries, led by Australia, to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.
She called for similar action by other nations.Tobacco companies “use all sorts of tactics including funding political parties, individual politicians to work for them… There is nothing they would
not exploit to undermine the governments’ resolve and determination to protect their own people,” Chan told reporters.
“It’s going to be a tough fight… (but) we should not give up until we make sure that the tobacco industry goes out of business,” she said.
Despite a decline in the number of smokers in many countries, more needs to be done to curb tobacco use in order to meet the global target of a 30-percent reduction in consumption by 2025, participants said.