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Tobacco-Free Sports Initiatives

Introduction to Tobacco-Free Sports

If current youth tobacco use trends continue, 5.6 million of today's young people will die from tobacco-related diseases. Nearly all first-time tobacco use occurs before high school graduation. This suggests that if kept tobacco-free, most youth will never start using tobacco.

Youth sports continue to be popular in the United States. Sports activities, therefore, present great opportunities to reach young people. Young athletes learn to make important health decisions related to tobacco use, physical activity, and good nutrition while on a sports team.

Tobacco-Free Sports Movement Gains Momentum

Many high-profile athletes, coaches, agencies, and organizations joined CDC's tobacco-free sports movement.

Agencies and organizations that support tobacco-free sports include CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), National Cancer Institute, National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, National SAFE KIDS Campaign, International Olympic Committee, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and many other sports leagues and youth organizations.

Because of this strong support, the tobacco-free sports movement gained momentum in many different sports arenas.

  • In 2001, the Smoke-Free Soccer program went global when CDC teamed up with WHO and FIFA to promote worldwide tobacco-free messages. Women and men soccer stars and other athletes from the United States, Australia, Brazil, China, and Canada appeared in posters to show their support for the program.
  • Starting from the first smoke-free Olympics (1988 Olympic Winter Games—Calgary), the tobacco-free Olympic tradition continued through the 2014 Olympic Winter Games—Sochi, Russia.

CDC welcomes your participation in the effort to promote sports participation as a healthy and positive alternative to tobacco use.

Tobacco-Free Sports Information Sheets

Sports Initiative Materials

The Tobacco-Free Sports Playbook: Creating Programs for Healthier Youth, Teams, and Communities

Tobacco-Free Soccer Coach's Manual

Soccer: Kickin' Butts

A teen documentary produced by the Emmy award winning PBS program "In the Mix."

Sports Initiative Posters

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