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Back To Vidyya 31 May 2000 Is World No Tobacco Day

Activities, Theme & Advertising Information

This information is freely adapted for use from the World Health Organization. It is intended for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Readers are invited to download portions of the document for use in their own tobacco awareness activities, as long as those activities are without profit motive.

Standing up to the culture vultures
The "Insider"
May 31 - On the Day
Message from Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, for World No Tobacco Day 2000
World No-Tobacco Day 2000 posters

One of the primary objectives of the tobacco industry is to frame tobacco use as an individual and behavioural decision. The problem with this casting is that it leaves the tobacco industry's activities and practices completely out of the equation. It assumes that people make decisions in a state of vacuum, completely uninfluenced by their environment including industry advertising and marketing.

Tobacco advertising and use in the entertainment and sports industry projects images of smokers as fun loving and glamorous and, most insidiously, healthy. Attractive images and people suggest that smoking is a powerful tool for enhancing self-image. The illusion helps the tobacco industry sell a product that kills.

'The tobacco companies spend $6 billion a year in the United States alone, enticing youth to smoke. They make you believe that if you smoke, you're going to be sexy, attractive, successful, accepted by your peers, rocking, and macho, cool and sassy. They project this image in every media - from day-time movies to night-time movies, magazines and even cartoon characters," says former "Winston" man turned tobacco control activist Allan Landers.

There is evidence to show that people's decision to smoke is enhanced by advertising and promotion of tobacco especially in the entertainment, sports and music industry. The Tobacco Industry understands this well and actively markets tobacco in many parts of the world through a strategic and insidious mix of pricing, placement and promotion. Sponsorship and product placement in films and sports are key strategies used by the Tobacco industry to circumvent advertising restrictions, where they have been enacted. Tobacco control work cannot and need not hope to match the advertising and promotional work of the tobacco industry. With science, justice, public health and economics on its side, tobacco control work can stay ahead on the information curve and seize the public health initiative on this issue.

Standing up to the culture vultures
World No Tobacco Day 2000 (WNTD 2000) aims to raise awareness of and counter these global marketing practices of the tobacco industry which lure customers, especially young people, through sponsorship, advertising and glamourisation of tobacco in films, music, art and sports.

It will serve as a catalyst to reframe the tobacco debate by:
disseminating information about the untruthful, deceptive and manipulative marketing practices of the tobacco industry, as revealed in their own "secret" documents;
sharing global and national tobacco control experience in countering this deception; and
creating a powerful international alliance of artists, sports and media people endorsing tobacco control issues.

It will pave the way for the larger policy debate on the pressing need for globally-binding advertising and promotional bans on tobacco.

The "Insider"
Major International Opportunity for Entertainment Focus on Tobacco
A Walt Disney film called "The Insider" starring Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer has been released in the US on November 5th, 1999. It is the story of Dr.Wigand, former vice-president, (R&D), Brown and Williamson.Dr.Wigand blew the whistle on the tobacco industry's nicotine manipulation. The film recounts his struggle and the tobacco industry's tactics to silence him and his work.Dr. Wigand will be present at TFI's media initiative launch in California.

May 31 -on the Day
Regions and Countries will organize their own events. Bangkok, it is hoped that each Region will engage relevant entertainment personalities. Thailand is the venue for the global WNTD event on May 31st, 2000. A separate organising committee has been set up under the guidance of Dr. Varabhorn Bhumiswadi, Director, Institute of Tobacco Consumption Control, Department of Medical Sciences, Ministry of Public Health. TFI and SEARO are involved with MOH Thailand in planning local events in Bangkok.


1. Message fro Dr Gro Harlem Brindtland, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

2. The tobacco industry's war on public health.

3. World No-Tobacco Day 2000 posters Tobacco Kills - don't be duped. It should not be advertized, glamorized or subsidized.

4. Reducing the glamorisation of tobacco in movies, on television and in music videos.

[(MS Word Document) has been freely adapted from "Thumbs up! Thumbs down! Advocacy Information Kit".American Lung Association of Sacromento-Emigrant Trails for World No Tobacco Day 2000.

5. Tobacco Explained [(MS Word Document) or (PDF. Format)] was originally developed and written by Clive Bates and Andy Rowell for the London-based Action on Smoking and health (ASH). It has been adapted for World No Tobacco Day. For further details and hundreds of additional extracts from tobacco industry papers visit ASH at:

6. Public Service Announcements (PSA's) -PSA's featuring super model -Christy Turlington and pop group Boyz II Men. Both have serious anti-tobacco, anti-deception messages.

7. Smokescreeners A short film produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) inviting children to "see films with their eyes open" to subterfuge advertising of tobacco and tobacco products.

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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