NEW YORK, 30th May, 2016 (WAM) — On World No Tobacco Day, which is observed tomorrow, the United Nations is lending its support to one simple measure with proven effectiveness in reducing demand: the plain packaging of tobacco products. The UN Secretary-General has called on governments around the world to get ready for plain packaging.

“Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading labeling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings,” Ban Ki-moon said in his message.

Cigarettes and other tobacco products kill almost 6 million people every year, he said, adding, that Sustainable Development Goal, SDG, 3 aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.

As part of that approach, governments have committed to strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries to reduce the proportion of people who use tobacco.

“As laid out in the United Nations tobacco control treaty, plain packaging entails restricting or prohibiting the use of logos, colours, brand images or any promotional information other than brand and product names displayed in a standard colour and font,” Mr. Ban said.

Tobacco use is one of the largest causes of preventable non-communicable diseases, including cancers, heart and lung disease.