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Inappropriate apps of concern

| October 29, 2012

Public health officials say tobacco companies are circumventing a worldwide ban on youth-targeted advertising by marketing smart phone apps designed to entice young people to smoke.

According to a Voice of America story, Armando Peruga, program manager for the World Health Organization’s Tobacco-Free Initiative, said there was a popular new type of software that was proliferating in Internet app stores and being downloaded to young peoples’ mobile devices and smart phones.

These mobile apps are said to ‘glorify smoking and encourage children to use tobacco products’.

The story quoted a ‘study conducted by Australian researchers’ that found more than 100 related apps.

The apps were said to have included not just games and social utilities, but more direct pitches promoting specific brands of tobacco products and providing information about where those products could be purchased.

The authors of the study were said to believe the distribution of pro-smoking smart phone apps violated the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which bans all advertising and promotion of tobacco products in the media in countries that are signatories to the convention.

Category: Breaking News

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