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World No-Tobacco Day --- May 31, 2001

World No-Tobacco Day is May 31, 2001. The theme, "Second-Hand Smoke Kills---Let's Clear the Air," was designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness of the hazards of exposure to second-hand smoke. Tobacco use worldwide will cause an estimated 10 million deaths annually by 2030 (1).

An effective strategy to promote and encourage tobacco-free policies is to link them with sporting events. Such policies also reduce nonsmokers' exposure to second-hand smoke (2). The 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was the first tobacco-free Olympics. Since then, all of the Olympic Games have had tobacco-free policies (3).

For the 2002 games, the Olympic organizing committee for Salt Lake City, Utah, will implement a public information campaign using Olympic athletes to promote healthy lifestyles and sports as an alternative to tobacco use. Plans also include information to increase awareness of the tobacco-free policy among visitors, media, athletes, and officials from participating countries.

Another media campaign is "Tobacco Kills---Don't Be Duped," which aims to ban tobacco advertising and promotion at sporting events globally. Additional information about World No-Tobacco Day 2001 is available at http://tobacco.who.int*, and http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco; telephone (800) 232-1311.

References

  1. World Health Organization. Combating the tobacco epidemic. World Health Organization's world health report 1999. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1999:6579.
  2. CDC. National report on human exposure to environmental chemicals. Atlanta, Georgia: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Laboratory Sciences, 2001. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/dls/report. Accessed March 2001.
  3. World Health Organization. Sports and the arts without tobacco: play it tobacco free. Tobacco alert, 1996 World No-Tobacco Day advisory kit. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1996.

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