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May 31 is World No Tobacco Day

Every May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners including the American Lung Association recognize World No Tobacco Day. World No Tobacco Day was created to draw attention to the dangers of tobacco use, spotlight the business practices of the tobacco industry and encourage governments, organizations and the public to do what they can to end the tobacco epidemic. World No Tobacco Day focuses on different evidence-based tobacco control strategies and policies each year and this time, WHO is asking all countries to get ready for plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products.

Plain packaging of tobacco products restricts or prohibit the use of logos, colors, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than the brand name and product name, both of which must be a standard color and font style. This helps lower demand for tobacco products because it reduces the attractiveness of products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the prominence of health warnings.

Plain packaging is recommended in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), an international treaty passed by the United Nations to combat the global tobacco epidemic. Countries that have signed or ratified the FCTC are called Member States. World No Tobacco Day 2016 aims to:

• Highlight the role of plain packaging as part of a comprehensive, multisectoral approach to tobacco control.

• Facilitate policy development by Member States and the globalization of plain packaging by providing informative, compelling and persuasive information.

• Encourage Member States to strengthen packaging and labelling measures and restrictions on advertising, promotion and sponsorship as they work towards plain packaging in a step-wise approach.

• Support Member States and civil society against tobacco industry interference in political processes leading to adoption of plain packaging laws.

We encourage Freedom From Smoking® facilitators to get involved and take action by joining the American Lung Association Lung Action Network. To get started, just call 1-800-LUNG-USA or visit