NGO calls for tobacco-free Asiad-A A +A
Saturday, August 23, 2014
LESS than a month before the 2014 Asian Games, the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) is calling on the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to keep the sporting event free from tobacco sponsorships and promotions.
In a letter to the OCA, SEATCA Director Bungon Rithiphakdee said there are several dangers that go along with the OCA allowing tobacco participation in the Asian Games.
"If a tobacco company is allowed to sponsor the Games, this will present cross-border tobacco advertising issues in countries, especially in Asia, where tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships have been banned," said Rithiphakdee.
"The OCA should not allow their well-respected and globally recognized organization to be ‘used’ by the tobacco industry in their bid to promote their deadly products among the youth, by using a prestigious sporting event, such as the Asian Games," she added.
SEATCA said allowing tobacco companies to penetrate the Asian Games will go in contrast with the healthy lifestyle the sporting event aims to promote.
"Governments and event organizers should be clear: tobacco and sport must never be mixed. Tobacco sponsorship sends the wrong message to young people. It should never be mixed with sporting events that should encourage and inspire healthy lifestyles," said Rithiphakdee.
The tobacco control non-government organization (NGO) said OCA only needs to keep its tobacco-free record in its events for several years already.
"They must be consistent in maintaining the tobacco-free policy and ensuring that all sporting events continue to remain tobacco-free," said Rithiphakdee.
Since 1988, SEATCA noted how the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has had tobacco-free games, particularly the SouthEast Asian (SEA) Games and Asian Games.
The 2014 Asian Games is slated to be held on September 19 to October 4 in Incheon, South Korea. (HDT/Sunnex)