#TobaccoExposed - New WHO campaign for a tobacco-free generation

21st May 2020

The new World Health Organization (WHO) campaign for World No Tobacco Day on 31 May will debunk myths and expose devious tactics employed by tobacco industries. It will provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and equip them with the tools to rebuff such tactics, thereby empowering young people to stand up against them.

This is especially important right now as studies show that smokers have a higher risk for a severe case of #COVID-19. WHO calls on all young people to join the fight to become a tobacco-free generation.

Globally, tobacco kills 8 million people every year. Over 1 million of deaths attributed to tobacco are due to second-hand smoke exposure. According to the WHO, at least 43 million adolescents aged 13-15 used tobacco in 2018 (14 million girls and 29 million boys) globally.

Tobacco is deadly in any form. Smoked tobacco products, including waterpipes, contain over 7000 chemicals, including at least 250 chemicals known to be toxic or cause cancer.

Adolescents who smoke are more likely to suffer chronic respiratory disorders and risk permanently damaging their lungs. The lungs continue to grow well into adulthood, but inhaling the toxins found in tobacco smoke slows this process and causes potentially irreversible lung damage.

For decades, the tobacco industry has deliberately employed strategic, aggressive and well-resourced tactics to attract youth to tobacco and nicotine products. Internal industry documents reveal in-depth research and calculated approaches designed to attract a new generation of tobacco users, from product design to marketing campaigns aimed at replacing the millions of people who die each year from tobacco-attributable diseases with new consumers –  youth.

In 2018, the major manufacturers spent USD 8.4 billion on cigarette advertisement and cigarette companies spent USD 62.2 million on point-of-sales materials. 

Visit WHO campaign website here.

Main campaign hashtags: #TobaccoExposed #SpeakOut