New Delhi:  Banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco consumption, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"A comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship could decrease tobacco consumption by an average of about 7 percent, with some countries experiencing a decline in consumption of up to 16 percent," said Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia.

"Our efforts should focus on preventing the youth from being exposed to all forms of tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship. Enforcement of a ban on sale of tobacco to minors should also be strengthened," he added.

It is estimated that nearly 1.3 million people die of tobacco-related illnesses every year in Southeast Asia.

According to latest research, about one in 10 students had an object with a cigarette brand logo and one in 10 students had been offered free cigarettes by a tobacco company in the region.

(Agencies)

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