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Govt urged to forbid tobacco companies from doing social activities

BANGKOK, 18 May 2012 – Action on Smoking and Health Foundation has urged
the government to forbid the tobacco industry from conducting social
activities, in compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO)
Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC).

As the World No Tobacco Day is approaching on May 31st, anti smoking
activists have reported that many tobacco companies in ASEAN have been
conducting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to forge good
relations with law makers in the countries they are located in. The
activists said they are trying to create good image for themselves,
making people believe that cigarettes are common in the society and
reducing the no-smoking campaigns’ intensity. In the meantime, these
cigarette companies are violating the FCTC, which indicates that social
activities are considered advertisements.

Around 6 million people worldwide die from smoking yearly, 600,000 of
those are second-hand smokers. In Thailand, around 500,000 new smokers
are reported each year. Today there are 13 million Thai smokers, with
most of them being in the range of 15-24 years of age. Over 48,000 Thais
reportedly die from smoking every year.

Prakit Vathesatogkit from the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation is
urging the Finance Ministry to impose law forbidding cigarette makers
from holding social activities. He added government agencies should also
reject any support from these companies, while the media should continue
to raise awareness on dangers of tobacco.

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