April 24, 1996

World No-Tobacco Day Targets Sports and the Arts

JAMA. 1996;275(16):1220. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530400008004

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SPORTS AND THE ARTS are the focus for this year's World No-Tobacco Day, which is set for May 31.

This is the ninth consecutive year that the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged tobacco users to abstain for at least a day and perhaps for good (JAMA. 1989;261:13). The WHO, an autonomous unit within the United Nations system with main headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, says the upcoming May 31 observance "is a unique opportunity to mobilize athletes, artists, and the [news] media, as well as the public in general, in support of the objective of promoting a society and a way of life where tobacco use is no longer an accepted norm."

Still, tobacco promotion and many sports (as well as occasional cultural) events have been linked. But WHO officials say that the recent smoke-free history of the Olympic Games is encouraging as far as athletics are concerned.

The 1988