World No Tobacco Day 2020

World No Tobacco Day 2020

On 31 May 2020 every year, World Health Organisation (WHO)  and  Public Health champions around the world come together to celebrate World No Tobacco Day.

This annual campaign emphasizes the achievements and progress made throughout the year towards a tobacco-free world. The theme for 2020 is aimed at protection of younger generations and focuses on “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”.

Tobacco products kill more than 8 million people every year and over 1 million people die from second-hand smoke exposure. Evidence indicates that tobacco use is responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths globally; also increasing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease.

Tobacco companies spend over 8 billion in marketing each year; and globally  8 million lives are lost from causes related to tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke.

This World No Tobacco Day the WHO is launching a counter-marketing campaign in response to the tobacco industries’ continuous tactics to hook a new generation of users.  WHO calls on all young people to be involved with this campaign, and encourages everyone to become educated, spread awareness and create a tobacco-free generation.

WHO urges a united approach to join the fight against the tobacco epidemic:

  • Celebrities and social influencers –  Reject offers of “brand ambassadorship”; refuse any form of sponsorship by nicotine/tobacco industries. 
  • Social media companies – Ban advertising, promotion and sponsorship by the nicotine and tobacco industries; forbid influencer marketing of tobacco or nicotine products.
  • Film, television or drama production companies -Pledge not to depict tobacco use or e-cigarette use.
  • Parents and relatives – Ensure children are informed on the harms of nicotine and tobacco product use; empower them to reject industry manipulation.
  • Nurses and health practitioners – Educate children, adolescents, young adults and their parents about the risks associated with use of tobacco products; empower users to quit by offering cessation advice.
  • Schools – Highlight the dangers of commencing nicotine and tobacco product use, adopt tobacco and e-cigarette free campuses, refuse any form of sponsorship by the nicotine and tobacco industries.
  • Youth groups – Organize local events to engage and educate; build a movement for a tobacco-free generation. 
  • National and local governments – Support the implementation of comprehensive tobacco control policies, as outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. 

For employers who would like to support employee efforts to quit, please contact for a Quit Smoking Resource Pack.

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