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World No Tobacco Day 31 May

Tobacco – a threat to development
The theme for World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2017, is “Tobacco – a threat to development“. It will propose measures that governments and the public should take to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to nearly 6 million deaths each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. In the past twenty nine years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance around the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry.

WHO and World No Tobacco Day

WNTD is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the WHO, along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World Malaria Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.
the health and economic well-being of citizens in all countries.


  • In 1987, the WHO’s World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for April 7, 1988 to be “a world no-smoking day”. The objective of the day was to urge tobacco users worldwide to abstain from using tobacco products for 24 hours, an action they hoped would provide assistance for those trying to quit.
  • In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed by the World Health Assembly, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on May 31. Since then, the WHO has supported World No Tobacco Day every year, linking each year to a different tobacco-related theme.
  • In 1998, the WHO established the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), an attempt to focus international resources and attention on the global health issue of tobacco. The initiative provides assistance for creating global public health policy, encourages mobilization between societies, and supports the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). The WHO FCTC is a global public health treaty adopted in 2003 by countries around the globe as an agreement to implement policies that work towards tobacco cessation.
  • In 2008, on the eve of the World No Tobacco Day, the WHO called for a worldwide ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. The theme of that year’s day was ″Tobacco-free youth″; therefore, this initiative was especially meant to target advertising efforts aimed at youth. According to the WHO, the tobacco industry must replace older quitting or dying smokers with younger consumers. Because of this, marketing strategies are commonly observed in places that will attract youth such as movies, the Internet, billboards, and magazines. Studies have shown that the more youth are exposed to tobacco advertising, the more likely they are to smoke.
  • In 2015, WNTD highlighted the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocated for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption, including ending the illicit trade of tobacco products.
  • In 2017, WNTD is focusing on tobacco as “a threat to development.” The campaign aims to demonstrate the threats that the tobacco industry poses to sustainable development, including the health and economic well-being of citizens in all countries.

World No Tobacco Day themes

  • 2017 – Tobacco – a threat to development
  • 2016 – Get ready for plain packaging
  • 2015 – Stop illicit trade of tobacco products
  • 2014 – Raise taxes on tobacco
  • 2013 – Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
  • 2012 – Tobacco industry interference
  • 2011 – The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
  • 2010 – Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women
  • 2009 – Tobacco health warnings
  • 2008 – Tobacco-free youth
  • 2007 – Smoke free inside
  • 2006 – Tobacco: deadly in any form or disguise
  • 2005 – Health professionals against tobacco
  • 2004 – Tobacco and poverty, a vicious circle
  • 2003 – Tobacco free film, tobacco free fashion
  • 2002 – Tobacco free sports
  • 2001 – Second-hand smoke kills
  • 2000 – Tobacco kills, don’t be duped
  • 1999 – Leave the pack behind
  • 1998 – Growing up without tobacco
  • 1997 – United for a tobacco free world
  • 1996 – Sport and art without tobacco: play it tobacco free
  • 1995 – Tobacco costs more than you think
  • 1994 – Media and tobacco: get the message across
  • 1993 – Health services: our windows to a tobacco free world
  • 1992 – Tobacco free workplaces: safer and healthier
  • 1991 – Public places and transport: better be tobacco free
  • 1990 – Childhood and youth without tobacco: growing up without tobacco
  • 1989 – Women and tobacco: the female smoker: at added risk
  • 1988 – Tobacco or Health: choose health