Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

WHA33.35 WHO's programme on smoking and health

The Thirty-third World Health Assembly, 

Recalling resolutions EB45.R9, WHA23.32, EB47.R42, WHA24.48, EB53.R31, WHA29.55, and WHA31.56 concerning the health hazards of tobacco smoking and WHO's role in the limitation of this harmful habit; 

    Noting the report of the WHO Expert Committee on Smoking Control;1 

    Reiterating its firm conviction that the effect of tobacco smoking is now a major public health problem in all industrialized countries and in many developing countries and that it will become so in the near future in all other developing countries unless action is taken now; 

    Mindful of the ill-effects of smoking, particularly on risk groups such as pregnant women, lactating mothers and children; 

    Seriously concerned about the aggressive promotional drives for the sale of cigarettes that occur in developing as well as developed countries, thus inducing the new generations to take up the habit of smoking;

    Alarmed by the fact that advertising practices using psychological means in both industrialized and developing countries have the effect of inducing and perpetuating smoking habits, especially among youth;

    Encouraged by the existence of total bans, restrictions or limitations on tobacco advertising in several countries;

     Noting encouraging signs of expanded national activities and of increasing public awareness of the harmful health effects of cigarette smoking in many countries, partly as a result of WHO's efforts and of this year's World Health Day on "Smoking or health: the choice is yours";

    Realizing that national and international strategies to combat the spreading of the habit of smoking must be carried out on a continuous, long-term basis;

    Believing that WHO has an essential role to play in promoting effective smoking control policies; 

1. URGES Member States:

(1) to strengthen, and to initiate where lacking, the smoking control strategies outlined in the above-mentioned resolutions, laying special emphasis on educational approaches, particularly with respect to youth, and on measures to ban, restrict or limit advertising of tobacco products; 

(2) to support WHO's action in the field of smoking and health; 

2. REQUESTS the Director-General:

(1) to further develop an effective WHO action programme on smoking and health, clearly defining lines of responsibility and priority areas, and taking into account the multidisciplinary and intersectoral character of the relationship between smoking and health; 

(2) to ensure that WHO plays a leading role in coordinating international activities and to strengthen collaboration with other United Nations agencies and with relevant nongovernmental organizations, and, particularly, to pursue the study on crop diversification in tobacco-growing areas in collaboration with FAO; 

(3) to collaborate with Member States in their efforts to reduce smoking;

(4) to consider problems caused by the marketing and consumption of tobacco, particularly in developing countries;

(5) to mobilize financial and other resources for the implementation of the programme;

(6) to report on progress of this programme to the Thirty-fifth World Health Assembly.

Hbk Res., Vol. II (3rd ed.), 1.11.6

(Seventeenth plenary meeting, 23 May 1980 -Committee B, seventh report)

(1) WHO Technical Report Series, No. 636, 1979