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World No Tobacco Day 2006


Please visit our main Tobacco Control page for more information on previous World No Tobacco Day and other information on Tobacco Control activities and programs in the Americas.

WNTD 2006 Rationale

The theme of World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), 31 May 2006, is "Tobacco: Deadly in any form or disguise."

The aim of WNTD 2006 is to sensitize consumers and policy makers to the fact that use of ALL tobacco products is extremely harmful and that ALL tobacco products, not just manufactured cigarettes, should be strictly regulated. This theme relates in part to Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). These articles address the issues of testing, regulation, and disclosure of ingredients in tobacco products and tobacco smoke, and misleading labeling on tobacco packaging.

In the region of the Americas, one of the most common forms of deception with regard to the relative harm caused by different tobacco products is the marketing of so-called "low-tar," "light" or "ultralight" cigarettes. Research in Canada, the US and other countries has shown that a large percentage of smokers believe that "low-tar" cigarettes contain less tar and nicotine and/or are less harmful than "regular" cigarettes. Research also shows that the introduction of these brands has dissuaded many smokers from quitting by giving smokers concerned about health an option to "switch down" to a lower tar/nicotine level. Therefore, raising awareness about these misleading terms and brands will be the primary focus in PAHO's WNTD 2006 materials and communications.

PAHO's message to consumers is that:

  • so-called "light" cigarettes contain the same levels of tar and nicotine as their "regular" counterparts;
  • switching to light cigarettes does not translate into reduced risk of developing a smoking-related disease; and
  • quitting is the only way to significantly reduce the risk of getting and dying from a tobacco-caused disease.

PAHO's message to policy makers is that:

  • the international testing systems currently in place to determine levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke do not reflect levels actually consumed by the smoker and therefore mislead consumers;
  • countries should follow WHO recommendations to NOT allow tar/nicotine/carbon monoxide levels based on the ISO, FTC or similar methods to be displayed on tobacco product packaging;
  • countries should follow WHO and any FCTC Conference of the Parties recommendations on testing methods and on how to convey accurate information to consumers (see; and
  • all countries (not just FCTC Parties) should prohibit misleading terms and related labeling (for example, color patterns and numbers) on tobacco packaging.

Article 11 of the FCTC requires Parties to the treaty to prohibit misleading labeling and terms within 3 years of entry into force for that country.

A number of countries, including Brazil and the UK, have already banned use of these terms (although companies have compensated by using colors and numbers instead of terminology to communicate perceived differences in tar/nicotine levels).

Please refer to WHO's web site for more information.

Technical and Background Information

Please visit our packaging and labeling page.



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Americas Region 2006 WNTD Award Winners

Washington, May 31, 2006 (PAHO) The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is recognizing today six individuals and organizations from across the Americas for their contributions to reducing tobacco use.

The PAHO/WHO World No Tobacco Day Awards are presented annually to individuals and institutions in the Americas that have demonstrated a long-term commitment and contribution in research, capacity building, promotion of policy or legislation, and advocacy, among other activities to advance tobacco control.

Among the six winners, Dr. Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay, has been chosen to receive the prestigious WHO Director General’s Award in recognition of his leadership on tobacco control in Uruguay, which has implemented some of the most progressive tobacco control measures in the world. The Director General’s Award is given to only two recipients each year worldwide.

A list and full description of this year’s winners follows.

  • WHO Director General's Award
    Honorable Dr. Tabaré Vázquez , President, Oriental Republic of Uruguay
  • WNTD 2006 Awardees (in alphabetical order)
    • Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária (ANVISA) (National Health Surveillance Agency), Brazil, Dr. Franklin Rubinstein, Director
    • Dr. Raul Batres, Former Director General, Instituto Hondureño para la Prevención del Alcoholismo, Drogadicción y Farmacodependencia (IHADFA) (Honduran Institute for the Prevention of Alcoholism, Drug Addiction and Pharmaceutical Dependence)
    • Victor Hugo Durán, Freelance Journalist, Chile
    • InterAmerican Heart Foundation, Dr. Beatriz Champagne, Executive Director, Dr. Eduardo Bianco, Director of Tobacco Control, United States of America (Pan-American mandate)
    • Dr. Lynn T. Kozlowski, Head, Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, United States of America

View full details of the awardees in English or French.

The call for nominations ended on April 14 2006.

Press Releases

Washington, May 29, 2006 (PAHO) - The Pan American Health Organization is calling tobacco "Deadly in any form or disguise" in its message for World No Tobacco Day, which is observed in the Americas on May 31, 2006.

View full version of press release in English, or French

WNTD 2006 in the Americas

Register your activities here.

More information

Visit PAHO's World No Tobacco Day page

Visit PAHO's Tobacco Control main page

Visit WHO's World No Tobacco Day page

Go to Spanish version







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