Worldwide, there are more than 1.3 billion people who use tobacco, the majority of whom live in countries with limited resources. Each year, tobacco claims the lives of more than 8 million people, including 1.2 million lives lost as a result of secondhand smoke exposure. Unless urgent steps are taken to reverse this global epidemic, tobacco will kill as many as one billion people this century, making it one of the biggest sources of preventable death and disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the dangers of tobacco, leading to millions of people worldwide wanting to quit. In celebration of World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2021, Vital Strategies has launched campaigns in eight countries to strengthen the World Health Organization’s commitment to encourage cessation by building support for healthy policies, such as smoke-free environments.
Since 2008, Vital Strategies has worked with 41 countries to deliver more than 375 evidence-based media campaigns and build local capacity to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco. Our World No Tobacco Day campaigns support policies to discourage and reduce smoking and reach millions around the world.
Tobacco Enforcement and Reporting Movement (TERM) website launched
To advance our vision of a world without tobacco advertising, Vital Strategies has launched a website for the Tobacco Enforcement and Reporting Movement (TERM), which provides monthly reports on tobacco marketing activities in India — providing concrete evidence of tobacco marketing and gaps in efforts to address limited supply It. For example, from March 16 to April 15 alone, 890 examples of tobacco marketing were observed.
Currently operating in India, TERM will soon include reports from Indonesia, where a recent survey revealed the seriousness of the issue with 95% of 13-15 year old respondents reporting that between February and April 2021 they had a tobacco advertisement seen online. to expand to other countries with a high burden of tobacco use to strengthen advertising bans nationally and serve as a model for other locations. TERM was launched in 2019 as a Facebook campaign in India to provide an online platform where people can actively report on tobacco marketing they encounter; to date, it has more than 89,000 followers.
Our team and partners are recognized for their commitment to tobacco control
The World Health Organization (WHO) annually recognizes individuals and organizations for their achievements in tobacco control. This year, two members of the Vital Strategies team received awards: Vice President of the Commission on Health, Family, Labor and Social Affairs of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly and Partner in Istanbul, Tuba Durgut, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Dina Mired, Hashemite King of Jordan, Vital Strategies’ special envoy for non-communicable diseases. Seven of our partners were also recognized.
STOP called for major tobacco efforts to undermine strike
STOP, a global tobacco industry watchdog in which Vital Strategies is a partner, posted a blog on World No Tobacco Day on their website outlining the industry’s efforts to derail tobacco control measures and encourage people to warn STOP of interference in their country .
2021 Global No Tobacco Day Campaigns
India has emphasized the health benefits of quitting and is pushing for stronger tobacco control
In In the, Vital Strategies has partnered with WHO India to launch the “When You Quit” campaign on national radio stations and on digital television platforms in 17 different languages.
Bandung, Indonesia Enhanced smoke-free laws
On World No Tobacco Day, Mayor H. Oded Muhammad Danial of Bandung, Indonesia unveiled a new smoke-free law to the public banning smoking in seven types of public spaces — a tremendous outcome of the city’s participation in the Partnership for Healthy Cities Global Network led by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with WHO and Vital Strategies. The unveiling ceremony took place downtown and featured speeches by the mayor and head of the health department, along with performances by musical guest stars, to celebrate the performance and increase public knowledge of the law.
The Philippines ran to stop
In the Philippines, Vital Strategies and the Department of Health have joined forces to launch a Virtual Non-Smoking Challenge. Participants participated in virtual distance-based activities, which included running, hiking and swimming. The challenge promoted healthy activities and encouraged people who use tobacco to “commit to quit” —the theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day–and support the implementation of local smoke-free policies.
China promotes non-smoking policies
In China, Important strategies World No Tobacco Day recognized by promoting smoke-free policies nationally and locally. Two of Vital’s public service announcements, “Cigarettes Eat Your Baby Alive” and “Smoke-Free Family,” reached more than 1 million people through an online event organized by the National Health Commission. In Yunnan, Vital worked with the Health Education Center and Health Education Association to provide posters on the importance of smoking-free policies for 200,000 bulletin boards across the province. Qinhuangdao, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Beijing, Changchun and Xi’an also launched social and mass media campaigns and non-smoking runs to increase public support for non-smoking policies.
Ukraine warns of tobacco use and risks of COVID-19
In Ukraine, Vital Strategies has partnered with the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health and the NGO Life Advocacy Center to launch a new media campaign on tobacco use and COVID-19. “A Doctor’s Warning” contains a testimonial from a prominent doctor about how smoking increases the risks of COVID-19 and about the harm of e-cigarettes. To support people to quit, the campaign provides WHO strike resources through a QR code.
Vietnam and Bangladesh urged people to quit smoking to protect others from second-hand smoke
In Vietnam, Vital Strategies has partnered with the Vietnam Women’s Union and the Vietnam Tobacco Control Fund to launch a new campaign in time for World No Tobacco Day. “Stop smoking to protect your loved ones,” shares the powerful story of Mrs. Le Thi Tinh, who bravely tells audiences how she developed lung cancer after frequent exposure to secondhand smoke in her home. The campaign will run until June on national television channels and on the Non-Smoking Vietnam Facebook page. More than 1,900 people signed up for the Facebook Live campaign launch event, which featured a 2017 Miss Universe Vietnam appearance.
In Bangladesh, Vital Strategies supported the government to broadcast the public service announcement, “Smoke-Free Homes” for six weeks on the state-run television channel, Bangladesh Television. The message focused on the importance of quitting smoking to protect loved ones from secondhand smoke. The campaign was supplemented with posts on Facebook page, Stop Tobacco Bangladesh.
Brazil focused on ending
In Brazil, Vital Strategies, ACT, the Brazilian Medical Association and Cancer Foundation, has launched a social media campaign focusing on the importance of banning electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in Brazil and pushing back against industry efforts to reverse it . The public shared campaign footage and tagged the regulatory agency, ANVISA, to express their support for the ban.
Press releases and further reading
Statement by José Luis Castro, President and CEO of Vital Strategies on World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2021
Vital Strategies partners, WHO-recognized collaborators at World No Tobacco Day 2021
For more information on Vital Strategies’ work in tobacco control, please visit: https://www.vitalstrategies.org/programs/tobacco-control
Follow us on Twitter: @VitalStrat
About Vital Strategies’ work in
Vital Strategies works in more than 40 countries to support the adoption of proven policies to reduce tobacco use. Our global team of experts uses policy, advocacy and strategic communication to help governments adopt life-saving, “best-buy” public health such as comprehensive smoke-free laws and high tobacco taxes.
Our evidence-based public education campaigns have been seen by more than 2 billion people around the world. We have partnered with the American Cancer Society to produce The Tobacco Atlas, (sixth edition) the most comprehensive report on the evolving global tobacco epidemic, and to support the production of WHO’s MPOWER reports.
Vital Strategies is a major partner in the $ 1 billion Bloomberg initiative to reduce tobacco use and a partner in the global tobacco industry watchdog, Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (STOP).