As the global community marks World No Tobacco Day, the United Nations is advocating for the use of plain packaging of tobacco products in an effort to save lives by reducing demand for such products, which kill nearly six million people every year.

“Tobacco use is one of the largest causes of preventable non-communicable diseases, including cancers, heart and lung disease,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message on the Day, which is observed annually to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

“On this World No Tobacco Day, I call on Governments around the world to get ready for plain packaging,” he added.

As laid out in the World Health Organization (WHOFramework Convention on Tobacco Control, the plain packaging of tobacco products entails restricting or prohibiting the use of logos, colors, brand images or any promotional information other than brand and product names displayed in a standard color and font.