Skip to main content

World No Tobacco Day 2024: Working Toward a Tobaccofree Future

World No Tobacco Day 2024: Working Toward a Tobaccofree Future

By Nicole Morgan, MPH | May 31, 2024
Program Manager, ETR

World No Tobacco Day is a global awareness day, celebrated annually on May 31 to bring attention to the harm caused by the commercial tobacco epidemic and to promote protection for future generations.

The commercial tobacco industry is product and profit-driven, with no connection to spiritual or respectful use like seen within Tribal communities and traditional tobacco.

This industry has a history of marketing its deadly products directly to young people, while lobbying against protective public health policies that protect youth and communities from achieving their best health.

Impact of Tobacco Industry Interference on Public Health

The tobacco industry has a long history of targeting vulnerable populations through predatory marketing tactics. It’s estimated that commercial tobacco companies spend about $8.6 billion each year on marketing efforts, many of which are directly targeted toward youth.  

In 2023, 12.6% of high school students and 6.6% of middle school students in the U.S. reported using tobacco products in the last 30 days, and nearly 90% of youth who used e-cigarettes reported vaping flavors. Young people are lured to these products due to the use of brightly colored packaging, occasional low-price points, social media marketing, and the creation of candy and fruit-flavored products.

In addition to targeting youth with their deceptive marketing tactics, the commercial tobacco industry has a history of using similar antics to addict new users from almost every background including: African American/Black, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ+, low-income, people with mental health challenges, and rural community members.  

Despite public health efforts to reduce the burden of commercial tobacco on local communities, the tobacco industry continues to undermine these protective public health policies with lobbying efforts. Tobacco industry lobbyists advocate for policies that benefit Big Tobacco, which work against public health policies at the local, state, and federal levels.  

In 2024, at the state level, there have been a total of 1027 registrations for tobacco industry lobbyists or lobbying firms. To combat these heavily funded lobbying efforts, local coalitions have worked tirelessly to protect their communities from the impact of commercial tobacco by passing policies that promote smokefree environments.

Smokefree Environments Protect Youth and Communities

Communities Energized for Health (CEH), a project of ETR, addresses secondhand smoke exposure where Californians live, work, and play. One aspect of this effort is promoting smokefree multiunit housing in Northern California’s rural counties like Yolo and Tehama.

Smokefree housing creates healthier environments for young people to thrive and protects all residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The benefits of smokefree multiunit housing are:

On this World No Tobacco Day, let us reflect on the global impact of a world without commercial tobacco and its deceptive industry tactics, as well as the public health benefit of smokefree spaces.

Get Involved with Tobacco Prevention

For local tobacco prevention, consider joining a coalition to stay involved with tobacco cessation efforts in your community.

In California, every county has a local tobacco prevention coalition that works on local policy solutions to reduce the burden of commercial tobacco. Find your local County Health Department here, and reach out for more information on getting involved with your local coalition.

More Tools for Tobacco Prevention

Want more resources for tobacco prevention? Check these out down below!

Take a look at the ETR Store. We offer tobacco prevention materials that feature the latest updates on the epidemiology of tobacco-related disease, the prevalence of smoking and other tobacco use, and the risk factors related to tobacco use. 

Watch our on-demand 3 in 30 webinars on How to Talk to Teens About Vaping and Youth-Led Substance Use Prevention, where guest experts deliver three tips in 30 minutes.

Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC), a project of ETR, is a statewide technical assistance (TA) provider that supports the development and distribution of effective educational materials and social media messaging for California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and California Tobacco Prevention Program (CTPP) funded projects at no cost.

Tribal Community Coordinating Center (TCCC), a project of ETR, works on policy, system, and environmental changes that tribes have identified are most important to reducing and eliminating commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in their communities.

Also consider looking at the resources offered by our partners the California Youth Advocacy Network, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the Truth Initiative.

Nicole Morgan (she/her) is the Program Manager for Communities Energized for Health, a project of ETR, focused on addressing exposure to secondhand smoke in rural communities in Northern California.

Sign up for the ETR Health Newsletter.

Social Media :

  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram