The World No Tobacco Day is observed annually on May 31 with the goal to spread awareness about the risks of tobacco use, and how we can make the world tobacco free. This is especially important right now as studies show that smokers have a higher risk for a severe case of COVID-19 Pandemic and they threatens the environment that we live in.
The World Health Organisations (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control 2005 (WHO FCTC) is a milestone in the promotion of public health. It is an evidence - based treaty that reaffirms the right of people to the highest standard of health. It provides the legal dimensions for international health cooperation, and sets high standards for compliance. Strengthening implementation of this treaty is specifically included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as Target 3.a.
The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2021 is ‘Tobacco’s threat to our environment’ and aims to raise public awareness about the environmental impact of the entire tobacco cycle, from its cultivation, production and distribution to the toxic waste it generates. The campaign will also aim to expose the tobacco industry’s effort to greenwash its reputation and to make its products more appealing by marketing them as environmentally friendly.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe in empowering young people and youth leaders to collaborate together in achieving a generation free of Tobacco. We call upon our members and other youth organisations to advocate and lobby on the implementation of effective policy interventions in order to reduce the demand for tobacco and protect against industry tactics to undermine global and national efforts to implement evidence - based tobacco control policies. We shall continue to provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and it will also equip and empower young people to quit and look after their health.
Tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending from basic needs such as: food and shelter to tobacco. We believe that tobacco control can break the cycle of poverty, contribute to ending hunger, promote sustainable economic growth, and combat climate change. We encourage young people to join the campaign in educating other peers to quit smoking and live tobacco free. We also recommend that countries fully ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including advertising CSR programmes, in accordance with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).