World No Tobacco Day is an annual awareness day taking place on 31 May.
This year, the theme is ‘Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference‘ and we are supporting UICC – Union for International Cancer Control‘s campaign to raise awareness of why tobacco use is so dangerous, especially for youths.
Explore their 2024 Toolkit and prepare your social media posts to join us this Friday, together we can relay these messages to the general public, stakeholders, decision makers and governments:
Inlight of this year’s World No Tobacco Day, WHO has also issued a statement titled “Hooking the next generation: how the tobacco industry captures young customers” which you can find here to read.
SIOP welcomes the recent statement by the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizing the need to “Protect children from tobacco industry interference”. Childhood cancer survivors form a particularly vulnerable community and a SIOP Advocacy Committee Task Force explored childhood cancer survivors’ experiences with tobacco product use in Latin America (LATAM) and India in a pilot series of interviews, and overall the results were concerning.
While participants knew about tobacco products and its harmful effects, one respondent in India doubted the carcinogenic role of tobacco as he had never smoked but still got childhood cancer. Several LATAM survivors believed people smoked for stress, to socialize, and to keep warm, and reported receiving no information about tobacco use from medical staff at completion of treatment. Across all income levels, including low-middle income countries (LMIC), there was awareness of e-cigarettes and vaping which will be the new frontier in tobacco control. Second-hand smoke causes the mortality of 65,000 children <15 years annually worldwide and most respondents were exposed to this.
There remains uncertainty on where to find reliable information on tobacco products/effects, and in both LATAM and India many survivors were unaware of messaging about hazards of smoking except for warnings on cigarette packages. SIOP supports better tobacco control efforts worldwide, especially for vulnerable groups such as childhood cancer survivors, particularly through the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Controls.