WHO accuse tobacco industry of continuing misleading labels

MANILA, May 30, 2006 (AFP) – The World Health Organization (WHO) Tuesday accused the global tobacco industry of continuing to use misleading labels to lure millions of people, including children, to take up smoking. On the eve of World No Tobacco Day, WHO said it would focus on the “tobacco industry’s lies” and the great variety of deadly tobacco products.

“The purpose of World No Tobacco Day is to remove the deceit and unveil the truth behind tobacco products,” Shigeru Omi, regional director for the Western Pacific, said in a statement from WHO’s regional headquarters in Manila.

“Tobacco products are deadly in any form, whether it be cigarettes, pipes, clove cigarettes, chewing tobacco, betel nut used with tobacco or cigars,” he said.

The industry’s use of misleading descriptions and manufacturing methods — like mild, light, low tar, fruit-flavoured, chocolate-flavored, natural, additive-free and organic — did not make tobacco products safer, he said.

“All these products and practices are deadly and addictive, and thus the absence of truthful information deprives even well-intended people of the ability to make healthy choices,” he said.

He called on regional governments to implement the WHO F