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May 30, 2002
Contact: CDC, Office on Smoking and Health
(770) 4885493

Press Release

Sports stars help to launch "World No Tobacco Day, 2002"

St. Louis Cardinal's first basemen Tino Martinez and Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee will be among those who join the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to launch "World No Tobacco Day, 2002" in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting in St. Louis on May 31st , 2002. Tobacco-free events will be organized all over the world that day, including a tobacco-free game night with the St. Louis Cardinals.

"Tobacco-Free Sports--Play It Clean" is the theme designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for this year's World No-Tobacco Day. This year's theme is intended to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, to heighten concern about the marketing and advertising of tobacco products through sports, and to promote participation in sports and physical activity as a healthy alternative to tobacco use. By 2030, tobacco use will cause an estimated 10 million deaths each year worldwide. Because sports have a universal appeal, WHO and CDC are collaborating to encourage tobacco-free policies and health promotion activities at sporting events worldwide.

"As an athlete, it's important that I'm always performing at my best. This would not be possible if I used tobacco," said Martinez. "Whether you are an up-and-coming major league baseball player or a young person with a promising future, there's never been a better time to be tobacco-free. Don't blow it."

For more information on tobacco use prevention and cessation, visit the CDC Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS) at www.cdc.gov/tobacco

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