WHO FCTC may ask countries to monitor tobacco advertising in entertainment media

Greater Noida, Nov 9 (IANS) As part of an initiative to curb over-endorsement and unwanted tobacco advertisements in the entertainment industry, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) may create national and sub-regional observatories to monitor the use of Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship (TAPS) by the entertainment media and cross-border advertising, IANS has learnt.

Under the new proposals taken by WHO FCTC, the world’s highest anti-tobacco decision making body also wants all of its 180-member nations to prioritise national level prohibitions on cross border advertising and TAPS in entertainment media.

“It is required to develop a biannual report on the status of TAPS in entertainment media and cross border advertising, as well as trends, practices and the parties involved,” said the draft copy accessed by IANS.

TAPS means “any form of commercial communication, recommendation or action with the aim, effect or likely effect of promoting a tobacco product or tobacco use either directly or indirectly”.

The initiative will come in execution once it gets cleared by the plenary and then is passed by the FCTC secretariat.

FCTC has urged all of its member countries to scale up the implementation of WHO FCTC Article 13 and its guidelines to achieve comprehensive coverage on both cross-border advertising and TAPS in entertainment media.

Article 13 of the FCTC says that parties recognise that a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship would reduce the consumption of tobacco products. Each party shall, in accordance with its constitution or constitutional principles, undertake a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

In case if a party is not in a position to undertake a comprehensive ban, due to its constitution or constitutional principles, shall apply restrictions on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.