World No Tobacco Day

Anti smoking campaign goes worldwide to promote bans on tobacco advertising

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. The World Health Organization believes that everyone has the right to the highest standard of health, which can improve by reducing smoking rates.

World No Tobacco Day, sponsored by the World Health Organization, will focus on the goal of banning tobacco ads, promotion and sponsorship.

Currently, there are 168 countries in the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control that either have already or will ban tobacco ads, promotions and sponsorship within 5 years of joining the convention.

"Say no to smoking."

On May 31 every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors World No Tobacco Day. The theme for World No Tobacco Day in 2013 is focused on getting rid of tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorship.

“Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide,” said the WHO in a press release.

According to the WHO, countries around the world that have banned tobacco advertising and sponsorship have seen tobacco consumption drop by 7 percent. After ad bans, the rates of new smokers and rates of continuing smokers both fell.

Researchers at the WHO have found that that one-third of youth experimentation with tobacco happens as a direct result of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Further, 78 percent of teens between 13-15 years of age from all over the world have said they were regularly exposed to tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

A major draw to banning tobacco ads and promotions has to do with its cost effectiveness in reducing smoking. As opposed to other anti-smoking efforts that require funding, banning ads has been referred to as the “best buy.”

The WHO Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) was the first international treaty crafted under the guidance of the WHO. The WHO FCTC has been in full force since 2005. The treaty was created due to the “globalization of the tobacco epidemic.”

The treaty was based on the principle that all people have the right to experience the highest standard of health.

“[WHO FCTC] has since become one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in United Nations history,” said the WHO.

Within 5 years of entry into WHO FCTC membership, each country must implement a comprehensive ban of all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

The WHO estimates that nearly 6 million people die every year from smoking-related illnesses. Roughly 600,000 of those deaths occur in non-smokers that were exposed to secondhand smoke.

“Unless we act, the epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. More than 80 percent of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low- and middle-income countries,” said the WHO.

A total of 168 countries around the world have officially been accepted into the WHO FCTC.

“Most tobacco users start their deadly drug dependence before the age 20. Banning tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship is one of the best ways to protect young people from starting smoking as well as reducing tobacco consumption across the entire population,” Dr. Douglas Bettcher, Director of WHO’s Prevention of Noncommunicable Disease department, said in a press release.

World No Tobacco Day is May 31. Information can be found on the World Health Organization Website. 

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 30, 2013
Last Updated:
August 8, 2013