Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

Organize your World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2005

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2005 is:

The role of health professionals on tobacco control

The slogan is:

Health Professionals Against Tobacco-- Action and Answers

The rationale behind this theme is available on:

World No Tobacco Day seeks to spread information globally on the dangers of tobacco use.

This year, World No Tobacco Day is focusing on engaging health professionals at every level in tobacco control. To this end, we would like patients and clients to turn to their health professional for their questions and concerns about tobacco use and its health consequences.

Health professionals comprise all professionals who work in the health sector, including those in the following broad groups:

Doctors/physicians, nurses and midwives, pharmacists, dentists and hygienists, physiotherapists, psychiatrists and psychologists as well as other health workers (including teachers in their role as health promoters).

ACTIONS ON World No Tobacco Day

Your health professional association can:

  • Write a letter for distribution to members or affiliates to be signed and sent, appealing to your head of state or government for one or more objectives related to tobacco control. Some examples are:
    • Ratification of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC)
    • Legislation on smoke-free work places
    • Legislation on reimbursement of specific cessation methods
    • Price and tax increase of tobacco products.
  • Your newsletter or any other formal, regular communication with your members can be used to call on them to sign the letter showing their support.
  • Dedicate an article, or an editorial in your next issue to raising awareness about World No Tobacco Day, the theme (The role of health professionals in tobacco control) and to promoting activities that you are preparing for that occasion.
  • Raise awareness about the code of practice on tobacco control. Mention and question the organization’s guidelines and members on how to adopt it and to use it.

If you are a health professional, you can do the following:

  • Include tobacco control as part of your work routine
  • Be proactive by asking your patients about their attitude toward tobacco
  • Promote a tobacco-free life, and set an example of it yourself
  • Advocate with your colleagues for smoke-free places
  • Familiarize yourself with the WHO FCTC and its articles

For national health professionals associations:

  • Promote the points above (and all the points in the code of practice) among your members
  • Include tobacco control in the agenda of congresses and conferences
  • Create a declaration of interest for potential links with the tobacco industry
  • Engage members in activities to promote World No Tobacco Day on 31 May
  • Include your own existing initiative under the World No Tobacco Day global initiative for all categories of health professionals

Other general ways that you can help in raising awareness:

Let everyone know!
  • Write an article about World No Tobacco Day and this year’s theme in your newsletter or journal to members
  • Ensure that everyone who visits your workplace or centre knows that World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on 31 May
  • Disseminate information on this on your website and link your own organization's initiative related to tobacco control
  • Remember that the campaign is not only for one day; it should run all year, until next year’s World No Tobacco Day.
Put up a stall
  • Having a stall at your workplace is a good way to call attention to tobacco control and carry the message. Let us know if you want material to display or give away. Put it up in strategic places where it can be seen easily. If you are a health professional, make sure that any related information you might have—such as about cessation methods—is available and at hand.
Make the message credible
  • Lend credibility to the message you are conveying by ensuring that your environment is tobacco-free, for example.
  • Organize tobacco- and smoke-free events: if you organize a party or an outing, challenge everyone to keep it a tobacco-free activity.
Organize something else
  • Do you know someone who could deliver a speech, seminar, or workshop related to this year's World No Tobacco Day, or any other tobacco-related topic (cessation, tobacco and health, etc.)?
  • Do you know someone who could present a real story that relates to this year's theme?
  • Can you organize a debate?
  • Can you write an editorial or opinion letter in your local newspaper, explaining what this year's World No Tobacco Day is about and your views, and elaborating upon any of the issues that this year's theme brings up?
  • Can you collect signatures in support of the WHO FCTC or backing up a specific tobacco control measure? You can then write to your local administration or government with the list of signatures showing the support from civil society. Remember to check—and at the same time encourage—signatures on the fctc now! web page www.fctcnow.org

World No Tobacco Day generates interest. There could be press conferences taking place, new material released, articles published in the papers. It is an ideal time for everyone to show their concern; the more people the better. It is also a good reflection of what people want, and a good way to let governments know.

Now that the WHO FCTC has entered into force and governments have a tool to use in order to control tobacco, the message needs to be loud and clear. Civil society needs to claim its right to smoke-free and tobacco-free places to attain a higher standard of health.

Remember that although World No Tobacco Day is only one day of the year, the efforts should continue throughout the year. Use any other key dates that might be especially related to this year's theme

Don't forget to let us know what you are doing!
  • Please fill out the form on http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/events/wntd/events_form/en/ to let us know what you or your organization are planning.
  • Download full rationale: English [pdf 38kb] | French [pdf 41kb]
  • Do you want to tell us your story? How did your doctor, nurse, dentist, physiotherapist, pharmacist, etc help in your case:
    • Did the health professional offer advice?
    • Did you learn new facts about smoking that helped you decide to quit?
    • Have you received advice that has helped you to support someone in your environment in their efforts to quit?
    • Have you sought support or advice from your health professional on what to do with your young son or daughter who has started smoking?

We want to hear from you. Write us to tell us your story related to the theme of World No Tobacco Day 2005.

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