Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Organize your World No Tobacco Day 2004

Tobacco and poverty: a vicious circle

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is celebrated around the world on 31 May each year. 2004 marks the campaign's seventeenth year of existence. Each year a different theme is selected that aims to educate the general public of the dangers of tobacco use. The theme for WNTD 2004 is Tobacco and poverty. The slogan is "Tobacco and poverty: a vicious circle"

This year's campaign attempts to show how tobacco and poverty are inextricably linked. Smoking prevalence is higher among the poor and contributes to the continuing poverty of low-income households and countries, because money is spent on tobacco instead of food, education and health care. This year, the World Health Organization calls on governments, communities, organizations, schools, health centres and civil society to spread this message.

For a successful World No Tobacco Day, as many people in as many countries as possible need to be involved. Here is how you can help:

Let everyone know

Make sure that everyone who visits your workplace or centre knows that World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on 31 May. Remember: the campaign is not only for one day, it should run throughout the year.

Put up a stall

Having a stall at your workplace is a good way to get attention and send the message. Please let us know if you want posters, leaflets or other information (link to material list) to display or give away. Put them where they can be easily seen. If you are a health professional, make sure that any related information you might have -such as about cessation - is available and at hand.

Make the message credible

Make sure your environment is tobacco-free (at least during the campaign!). Organize tobacco- and smoke-free events. If you organize a party or an outing, ask everyone to keep it tobacco-free.

Organize something

  • Do you know anyone who could give a speech, organize a seminar or workshop on the theme of this year's WNTD, or any other tobacco-related topic (cessation, tobacco and health, etc.)?
  • Do you know anyone who could give a real-life testimony relating to this year's theme?
  • Can you organize a debate?
  • Can you write a letter or editorial for your local newspaper explaining the theme of this year's WNTD and giving your point of view?
  • Can you collect signatures in support of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control? You can then send the list to your local administration or government. Remember to check the signatures on the fctc now! web page and encourage others to sign.
  • Do you have resources to organize a quit using tobacco campaign?
  • Did you know that the price of a well-known brand of tobacco could buy you:
      - 1.3 kg of rice or 1 kg of fish in France
      - 20 eggs in Russia
      - 2 kg of sugar in Georgia
  • Did you know that the yearly amount the average Canadian male spends on tobacco is close to $1,900, enough to buy a new computer or take a holiday?
  • Make your own list of how much people in your country could save by quitting using tobacco. And also what they could afford instead!
  • Use the factsheets (link to factsheets, to be provided shortly) and global data on the consequences of to support your message. Create your own factsheets with local data.
  • Take a look at other documents and information sources on tobacco and poverty:

Documents related to tobacco and poverty

World No Tobacco Day generates a lot of interest. There may be press conferences and newspaper articles. It is a good time for everyone to speak up, voice their concern, and let governments know. The more people the better.

This year more than ever, with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) open for signature and ratification, the anti-tobacco message needs to be loud and clear. Civil society needs to claim its right to smoke- and tobacco-free places in the interests of public health.

Remember that although WNTD is only one day of the year, your efforts should continue throughout the year. Use any other key dates related to this year's theme (World Environment day -5 June, World Day Against Child Labour -12 June, International Youth Day -12 August, Millennium Development Goals -September, World Heart Day - 24 September, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - 17 October, etc). Emphasize the links between these themes and tobacco use. Let everyone know of tobacco's adverse consequences. Take out your stock of posters and literature and continue telling everyone about the important issues raised in this year's campaign.

Don't forget to let us know what you are doing

Please fill out the form to request to add your World No Tobacco Day event to the TFI web site. We will post as many activites as we can on our website.