World No Tobacco Day

FIFA encourages smokers to join WHO’s “Commit to Quit” campaign

No smoking sign
© imago images
  • FIFA World Cups have been tobacco-free since 2002 to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke
  • FIFA and the WHO signed an agreement in 2019 to promote health and well-being
  • This year’s World Health Organisation (WHO) campaign on World No Tobacco Day focuses on creating healthy environments to help people quit tobacco

When evidence was released this year that smokers were more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers, it triggered millions of smokers to want to quit tobacco. Quitting can be challenging, especially with the added social and economic stress that have come as a result of the pandemic but there are many reasons to quit.

There are clear benefits to commit to quit:

  • Within 20 minutes, your heart rate and blood pressure drop
  • After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal
  • After two to 12 weeks, your circulation improves and your lung function increases
  • After one to nine months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease
  • After one year, your risk of coronary heart disease is about half that of a smoker’s
  • After five to 15 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker
  • After ten years, your risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker

After 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s

31 May 2021 marks the WHO’s 34th annual World No Tobacco Day. This year´s campaign aims to support 100 million people worldwide in their attempt to give up tobacco through various initiatives and encourages smokers to go tobacco-free for 24 hours, in an effort to make everyday a no tobacco day. More information and resources are available here:

FIFA has long recognised that tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke and vapours are harmful with carcinogens and other harmful substances found in tobacco smoke and e-cigarettes. As such, we are committed to organising our events in a manner that protects non-smokers and provides a healthy environment for all.

In this respect, the FIFA Event Policy on Tobacco, and the measures we take at FIFA events to protect non-smokers are aligned with the WHO’s general directives. They are also in keeping with the shared objectives agreed between our organisations in the MoU signed by FIFA and the WHO in October 2019.

See also

Tobacco-free policy for FIFA events