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Notice to Readers: World No-Tobacco Day, May 31, 2002

"Tobacco-Free Sports---Play It Clean" is the theme designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for this year's World No-Tobacco Day, May 31, 2002. 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 (1). Because sports have a universal appeal, WHO and CDC are collaborating to encourage tobacco-free policies and health promotion activities at sporting events worldwide.

In 1986, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) stopped accepting tobacco advertising or sponsorship for the FIFA World Cup. The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) tobacco-free Olympics tradition began at the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Since then, all Olympic Games have been smoke-free (2). In February 2002, CDC and WHO, in collaboration with the IOC, evaluated the smoke-free policies of both the IOC and the 2002 Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the Olympic Winter Games. An on-site assessment by CDC found high levels of awareness of, and compliance with, the Olympic policies among athletes, journalists, and spectators. Approximately 75% of those who responded to the assessment survey thought the IOC should require all of the bidding cities for the Olympic Games to implement a tobacco-free policy (CDC, unpublished data, 2002).

The 2002 FIFA World Cup begins May 31 in Seoul. To ensure that athletes and visitors at this event have a smoke-free environment, WHO and CDC worked with FIFA on a tobacco-free policy. The tobacco-free sports theme also will be highlighted at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting in St. Louis, which will be held in conjunction with IOC's Sports Science Congress, May 28--June 1, 2002.

Additional information about World No-Tobacco Day 2002 is available from WHO at http://tobacco.who.int and from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco, telephone 800-232-1311.

References

  1. World Health Organization. Combating the tobacco epidemic. In: World Health Organization's world health report 1999. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1999.
  2. World Health Organization. Sports and the arts without tobacco: play it tobacco free. In: Tobacco alert: 1996 World No-Tobacco Day advisory kit. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1996.


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