Drugs & Health Blog

World No Tobacco Day: Banning Tobacco Promotion

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Sara Bellum

Worldwide, nearly 6 million people die each year because of tobacco use. That’s enough to fill about 60 average football stadiums.

Tomorrow is World No Tobacco Day, which is organized by the World Health Organization’s Tobacco Free Initiative. This year’s theme is: Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion, and Sponsorship.

The World Health Organization believes that tobacco is so deadly that all promotion of tobacco products should be outlawed. The United States already has set many limits on tobacco promotion.

In the U.S., it’s illegal to:

  • Sell tobacco products to people under age 18.
  • Sell cigarettes in packs of fewer than 20.
  • Sell tobacco products in vending machines.
  • Give out free samples of tobacco products.

Tobacco companies in the United States are banned from:

  • Using their name in sponsorship at any athletic, musical, social, or cultural event.
  • Using music or sound effects in audio ads—they can only use words.
  • Selling hats and t-shirts with tobacco brand logos.
  • Selling flavored tobacco products.
  • Advertising on television.

Of course, more work is needed to keep people from using tobacco products. Research has proven that tobacco negatively affects the health of both your body and brain. What’s more, smoking doesn’t just harm smokers—it also harms everyone around them.

Comment on this post and tell us what you think. Do you think tobacco promotion should be banned completely? Do you know anyone who has gotten sick from smoking?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Tobacco is harmful.
I think tobacco promotion should be banned completely. Here in the UK there is very little they can do for cigarette promotion although attempts to remove branded from cigarette packaging have failed. This highlights the issues surrounded tobacco harm reduction. Unfortunately there is a lot of money in the tobacco industry and that filters into lobbying used to persuade governments and officials to reduce regulation. Not to mention the large income from taxes these governments receive. I struggled with cigarette addiction but recently started using electronic cigarettes from cigelectric.co.uk which helped me quit completely.
In the U.S., it’s illegal to:... Sell tobacco products in vending machines. Give out free samples of tobacco products. How is it that at some festivals then you see companies offering samples of tobacco if it's banned? Is it because they usually have a covered/enclosed tent? And what is defined as a vending machine? I've seen cigarette-only vending machines in a handful of bars.
If you use tobacco, STOP