World No Tobacco Day 2023: We need food, not tobacco

World No Tobacco Day 2023 presents an opportunity to examine the multifaceted challenges posed by tobacco cultivation and advocate for a sustainable future. Here are the key messages of this year, outlining the need for empowering tobacco farmers, combating child labor, maximizing land efficiency for zero hunger, and strengthening policy implementation. By promoting collective action, we can pave the way for a healthier, more equitable world.

  • Promoting Alternative Crop Production 

Highlighting viable alternatives to tobacco cultivation becomes paramount in empowering farmers. By emphasizing sustainable, nutritious crop options, we can not only improve their livelihoods but also foster long-term sustainability.

  • Advocating for Fair Contractual Arrangements

The exploitative contractual agreements imposed by the tobacco industry keep farmers impoverished. Advocating for fair trade practices and empowering farmers to negotiate better terms are essential steps towards ensuring their economic well-being.

  • Promoting Health and Well-being

Exposing the detrimental health effects of tobacco cultivation, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, is crucial. By advocating for improved occupational safety measures and comprehensive support programs, we prioritize the well-being of farmers and their families.

  • Raising Awareness about Child Labor 

Shedding light on the prevalence and negative impact of child labor in tobacco cultivation is essential. Stricter enforcement of laws prohibiting child labor in tobacco production becomes imperative to safeguard children’s education and well-being.

  • Ensuring Access to Education 

Providing educational opportunities for children affected by tobacco farming is crucial. By advocating for policies that promote access to quality education and creating awareness about the long-term benefits, we can break the cycle of child labor and ensure a brighter future.

  • Supporting Alternative Livelihoods 

Transitioning families involved in tobacco cultivation to alternative income opportunities is vital. Initiatives that offer sustainable livelihood options not reliant on child labor can foster positive change and contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty.

  • Promoting Sustainable Land Use 

Optimizing land resources by shifting from tobacco to food crop production aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 – zero hunger. Advocating for sustainable land use practices becomes essential in addressing food security challenges.

  • Encouraging Government Action 

Governments and policymakers play a pivotal role in incentivizing and supporting tobacco farmers in transitioning to growing food crops. Developing suitable policies and strategies, along with highlighting success stories, can have a transformative impact on food security and poverty alleviation.

  • Enhancing International Cooperation 

International collaboration and partnerships are instrumental in providing technical assistance, knowledge sharing, and financial support to countries transitioning from tobacco to food production. By fostering cooperation, we can accelerate progress towards a hunger-free world.

  • Highlighting FCTC Provisions

Efficient implementation of Article 17 and Article 18 of the FCTC is crucial. These articles promote viable alternatives for tobacco workers and growers, protect the environment, and safeguard public health. Advocating for their effective implementation is necessary for meaningful change. 

  • Encouraging Policy-makers’ Action 

Urge governments and policy-makers to strengthen legislation, develop suitable policies and strategies, and create market conditions conducive to transitioning from tobacco to sustainable crop production. Their commitment can shape a future free from the harms of tobacco.

  • Fostering International Cooperation 

Enhanced international collaboration is indispensable in supporting countries’ efforts to implement FCTC provisions. By sharing best practices, advocating for tobacco control policies, and pooling resources, we can build a healthier, more sustainable world.

References: WHO, World No Tobacco Day 2023 Campaign

2023 World No Tobacco Day Awards

World No Tobacco Day offers an opportunity for WHO to recognize and commend these achievements while raising awareness and building support for tobacco-control measures globally. Each year, WHO presents awards to organizations and individuals who promote and enforce tobacco control in the Region. WHO carefully selects the awardees in recognition of their long-term commitment and outstanding contribution to research, advocacy, health promotion and capacity-building in these areas.

WHO has announced the winners of the 2023 World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) Awards, celebrating the achievements of five inspiring individuals and organizations from across the European Region. These trailblazers have demonstrated exceptional dedication and innovation in the field of tobacco control, pushing the boundaries to create a healthier, tobacco-free future for all. 

The WHO WNTD Award Ceremony has been carried out in Ljubljana, Slovenia on 25 May, where part of the awardees have been together in person for this very important moment.

Find here the written speech of the Opening Remarks delivered by Dr Gauden Galea at the: World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2023 Award Ceremony organized as part of the Slovenian National Symposium on WNTD 2023 ”For a Tobacco and Nicotine-Free Slovenia 2040”

ENSP proudly congratulates its members who have made significant contributions in the field of tobacco control across Europe. These achievements include establishing a robust tobacco control strategy in Belgium, pioneering an impactful educational campaign in Greece, advocating for comprehensive tobacco control measures in Kazakhstan, ensuring the continuity of tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts in Slovenia during the COVID-19 pandemic, and enhancing the understanding of the attractive, addictive, and toxic properties of tobacco and nicotine products. ENSP is honored to announce that three out of the five European awardees are outstanding members of the network.

Belgium: Ms Suzanne Gabriels, Fondation contre le Cancer

Suzanne Gabriels, a renowned tobacco control expert, has been instrumental in improving Belgium’s tobacco control policies. As a founding partner of the Belgian Alliance for a Smoke-Free Society, she has successfully influenced political parties and governments to adopt ambitious measures towards achieving a smoke-free generation by 2040, while also shaping public opinion through media appearances and press publications. 

Read more…

Greece: Professor Panagiotis Behrakis SmokeFreeGreece

Former ENSP President, Professor Panagiotis Behrakis is a renowned global expert in public health and tobacco control. In recent years, he has focused on preventing tobacco use among young people in Greece. Under his leadership, SmokeFreeGreece has conducted a series of educational activities, including student seminars, teacher workshops and national conferences. These efforts have reached a significant portion of the Greek school population, contributing to a decrease in smoking prevalence among young people. SmokeFreeGreece was selected by the European Commission as one of the top nongovernmental organization (NGO) initiatives for its outstanding efforts in tobacco use prevention. Read more…

Kazakhstan: Dr Jamilya Sadykova, public fund “Temekisiz”, national coalition “For smokefree Kazakhstan”

Dr Jamilya Sadykova is a dedicated and experienced public health advocate who has been supporting the Ministry of Healthcare of Kazakhstan in promoting robust tobacco control measures since 2005. In 2020, she led an information campaign and policy dialogues that advocated for a comprehensive set of tobacco control measures as part of the health act. The new legislation became a true tobacco control victory, which was highly acknowledged by the international community. Read more…

Netherlands: Dr Reinskje Talhout, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)

Dr Reinskje Talhout is a pioneer in tobacco product regulatory science who has been investigating the chemical composition and properties of tobacco products since 2004. 

Dr Talhout has contributed to various collaborative EU projects in the field of tobacco control, and she is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Tobacco Regulators Forum. Read more…

Slovenia: National Institute of Public Health and its Anti-Tobacco Working Group

The National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is the leading public health organization in Slovenia working in the field of tobacco control. Its dedicated Anti-Tobacco Working Group (ATWG), composed of representatives from various national institutions and NGOs, among which two ENSP Members – No Excuse Slovenia and Slovenian Coalition for Tobacco Control, has shown exceptional commitment to tobacco control, including throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The group’s devotion and determination ensured that the prevention and cessation of tobacco use remained a high priority in the country. Read more…

Eastern Mediterranean Region Award – Dr Hani Al Gouhmani

We are delighted to announce that our colleague at the ENSP Secretariat, Dr. Hani Al Gouhmani, has been recognized as a distinguished awardee in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. In addition to his remarkable achievements as Former EMR Regional Coordinator, The Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), Dr. Al Gouhmani’s invaluable contributions as a member of our esteemed team make us exceedingly proud. His extensive experience and dedication to tobacco control have greatly strengthened our mission, and we extend our  congratulations to him on this well-deserved honor.

Find out the list of awardees from all regions…

Join the Global Movement to End Tobacco!

Stand united to celebrate World No Tobacco Day and contribute to ending the harmful impacts of tobacco on individuals, communities, and the environment. Here are some key actions that individuals can undertake immediately to make a difference.

Engaging in World No Tobacco Day – Encourage active participation in World No Tobacco Day activities, utilizing various communication channels to raise awareness and advocate for change. Every voice matters in creating a tobacco-free world.

Spreading the Message – Promote the key messages of empowering tobacco farmers, combating child labor, maximizing land efficiency for zero hunger, and strengthening policy implementation through widespread communication. Together, we can amplify the call for change.

Uniting for a Tobacco-Free Future – Emphasize the significance of collective action and global collaboration in overcoming the challenges posed by the tobacco industry. Highlight the positive outcomes of tobacco control efforts and the potential for a healthier, more sustainable future for all. In conclusion, by advocating for sustainable livelihoods, human rights, and a tobacco-free world, we wield the power to create transformative change. Let us unite and strive for food security, human dignity, and a brighter future for generations to come.

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