31 May 2022
World No Tobacco Day Special Edition

2022 WHO World No Tobacco Day:

Tobacco’s threat to our environment

What has been less discussed or documented are the environmental health risks of tobacco cultivation, production, distribution, consumption and waste. The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing, and has thus far received relatively little attention from researchers and policy-makers
The environmental consequences of tobacco use move it from being a human problem to a planetary problem. It is not just about the lives of tobacco users and those around them, or even those involved in tobacco production. Tobacco can no longer be categorized simply as a health threat – it is a threat to human development as a whole. 
European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides stresses that "Tobacco harms not only human health. The consumption of tobacco products and the waste it produces also poses a clear threat to our environment. On this year's World No Tobacco Day, the message is clear: we must limit the impact of tobacco both on human and planetary health.". In her statement, she reiterates what Europe's Beating Cancer Plan envisions a “Tobacco Free Generation” in which less than 5% of the population uses tobacco by 2040 through stronger tobacco control actions

With this in mind, 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. This recognition takes the form of the WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards.


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.


This year, for the European Region, the WHO awarded three prizes for remarkable individuals, two prizes for outstanding NGOs, and for the first time, one special posthumous recognition.

European Region awardees
  • National Center for Disease Control and Public Health, Georgia
  • Mrs Ainuru Altybaeva, Chairman of the Republic Association "Ayaldar Kenesh" (Women's Council), Kyrgyz Republic
  • NGO, Kingdom of Spain
  • Mr Hans Stöckli, Member and former President of the Council of States, Swiss Confederation
  • Mrs Lada Bulakh, Member of Ukrainian Parliament, Ukraine
  • Posthumous recognition of Dr Mateusz Zatoński, Research fellow at Tobacco control research group, University of Bath, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Throwback to 24 May 2022 

ACT-ENSP World No Tobacco Day Conference and WHO Euro WNTD Award Ceremony in Brussels

During a full-day conference, researchers, associations, and institutional representatives have come together to raise awareness about the crucial environmental issues generated throughout the entire tobacco lifecycle, expose Big Tobacco’s tactics to appear environmentally friendly, and discuss the measures to be taken.


The ACT-ENSP event was opened by the ACT President, Prof. Loic Josseran, along with the ENSP President, Dr. Francisco Rodriguez Lozano. The morning introductions were continued by the honorary speeches of the Acting Head at WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases, Kremlin Wickramasinghe, and of the Delegate General of the French Interministerial Mission For Combating Drugs And Addictive Behaviours (MILDECA), Valérie Saintoyant.
As the event took the form of an active debate, the morning session has been moderated by the ARTE Journalist Annette Gerlach, who created a real platform for panelists to share their ideas, experiences, and recommendations with the participants, and create an open dialogue. The afternoon session was moderated by ENSP Secretary General, Cornel Radu-Loghin. During this session, experts from the tobacco control community shared their views from legislative, economic, and institutional points of view, and, in addition, brought a new perspective regarding industry's market development and threats that novel tobacco products are posing.

In collaboration with the WHO Euro, the World No Tobacco Day Awards Ceremony was hosted during the ACT-ENSP event. Six prizes for the awardees from the European Region have been offered to individuals or organizations for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This ceremony represented not only a celebratory moment both for the awardees and the participants but also a renewed motivation and commitment for the tobacco control community to keep up the fight against tobacco.

Sign the open letter:

European Union must stop tobacco industry's greenwashing
In an op-ed dedicated to this event, Le Monde explains that the EU must not fall into the Big Tobacco's trap when it comes to the environmental impact. Initiated by ACT and proposed for signature during the ACT-ENSP event on May 24th, this op-ed aims to dismantle the misleading information about the industry's "green" actions and to end its collaboration with all public institutions.
"Delegating this environmental mission to the tobacco industry jeopardizes decades of health policy aimed at keeping the tobacco industry away from any public service mission. Such a delegation is in flagrant contradiction with article 5.3 of the FCTC which requires Parties to protect their policies from the interests of the tobacco industry. The role of the tobacco industry should be limited to financing the clean-up and management of cigarette butts. The tobacco industry should not be involved in any way, directly or indirectly, in the management or supervision of cigarette butts the organisation of awareness campaigns on this subject." 


48 organisations undersigned a document that expresses their concerns to the European Commission and calls upon Member States of the European Union to address this issue during the next European Environmental Council to be held on June 28. The implementation of international agreements protecting public health and the environment, and in particular the FCTC and its article 5.3., should invite them to refuse this blatant attempt at greenwashing by the tobacco industry. 


Get involved in the European Commission's public consultations!

Evaluation for the legislative framework of the tobacco control
In light of the rapid rise of emerging products and recent technical developments, the Commission will evaluate the tobacco control legislative framework, namely product regulation and advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, in the broader context of other related tobacco control policies. This evaluation will assess to what extent the framework has fulfilled its goals and whether it is able to support a ‘Tobacco-Free Generation’ by 2040, as announced in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The deadline for feedback is on 17 June 2022.

Upcoming update on the revision of the Council Recommendation on Smoke-Free Environments
This upcoming consultation will be focused on the revision of the Council's 2009 Recommendation on smoke-free environments, a document that aims to protect people across the EU from exposure to second-hand smoke.
As announced in Europe's Beating Cancer plan, this initiative will aim to update the recommendations according to the market developments (emerging products) and to extend its scope to additional outdoor spaces. The opening of this public consultation is planned for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Last chance to submit your abstract

for the 7th ENSP - European Conference on Tobacco Control

Due to a high number of already received abstracts and proposals for workshops, TODAY, 31 May 2022, is your last chance to submit your abstract! For those of you who have not submitted your abstract yet, a reminder that this year's conference has got more entry categories than ever. Among others, special topics dedicated to tobacco & war or tobacco & environment are on the list, therefore you are most welcome to finalize your abstract and enter it by midnight! If you have already sent your abstract, you can still make adjustments or edits until the final deadline. We will be announcing the final programme on the ENSP-ECTC Website, shortly after the end of the deadline.


Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to address them to ENSP Secretariat

Registrations and updated programme now available!
The 7th ENSP European Conference on Tobacco Control (ECTC) will take place between 6 and 8 July 2022, in Greece. Register now and take part in a wonderful experience on the historical island Crete, together with colleagues, partners, and friends, by commonly sharing precious knowledge for public health!

The city’s largest luxury hotel with unobstructed views of the historic harbor. Ideally positioned in the heart of the city, Aquila Atlantis Hotel is the perfect starting point to discover Heraklion, the largest city of Crete which holds many historic monuments and museums all within easy reach of the business and commercial district.

Other news and publications

Last chance to join the Global Media Competition!
Today is the last day of the Global Media Competition: "Disaster in Disguise: Tobacco Companies' Environmental Harms"! Submit before the end of May 31, 2022, the most compelling social media graphics and short videos showing how tobacco companies aggressively hide how damaging they are to the environment by making us believe that they are environmentally friendly to undermine policies and escape liability. Winning entries could win up to US $4000!
Tobacco is a major disruptor to the ecosystem – from its plastic materials and environmental toxins (aggravated by the fact that cigarette butts are the most littered item on earth) to production processes that lead to deforestation, a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions.

Sign the petition: Make Big Tobacco Pay

Every year, millions of people die from the tobacco epidemic. In addition to the profound emotional, physical, and spiritual costs of these crises, countries are also paying a severe economic price in addressing this epidemic: trillions of dollars globally.


Timed with World No Tobacco Day, Corporate Accountability launched a broad call for Parties to the WHO FCTC and other government leaders and public health officials around the world to Make Big Tobacco Pay. The petition is open for signatures to anyone in the world, and it urges governments at all levels to both advance liability measures at the WHO FCTC and take action to hold the industry accountable in-country.

Now also indexed in PubMed Central. Learn more...

The latest publications in the TPC Journal:
Radha Hussain, Jennifer H. LeLaurin, Ramzi Salloum
Heike H. Garritsen, Jentien M. Vermeulen, Andrea D. Rozema, Luc R. C. W. van Lonkhuijzen, Anton E. Kunst
Elizabeth Wahlenmayer, Aparna Soni
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