Today, the whole world is butting out

Photo: istockphoto.com/Karim Hesham

Today is World No Tobacco Day, sponsored by the World Health Organization. Here's what's happening around the world.

  • Australia is handing out quitter kits to any smokers registering with Health Services.
  • Belgium is holding a number of non-smoking parties.
  • In Canada, the Canadian Lung Association launched its campaign "Quit, before your time runs out."
  • Cyprus is having a no-smoke week and encouraging everyone to butt out.
  • The Czech Republic is holding a special parliamentary debate to pass smoke-free legislation.
  • In El Salvador the new branch of the International Federation of Medical Students (IFMS) is encouraging youth to organize non-smoking smoke parties in all discotheques in the capital city of San Salvador.
  • In Nantes, France, local hospitals are holding a soccer tournament where doctors, nurses, medical students and technicians sign a contract not to smoke during the working day. Paris is handing out free flyers listing all the smoke-free restaurants.
  • German youth are setting up their own SWAT team (Students Working Against Tobacco) in different locations.
  • Ghana has been holding a month-long event letting the public know about the dangers of tobacco and there is a move to ban smoking in public places.
  • India has the most events of any country. Over 30 municipalities are putting on events including a star-studded rock concert in Mumbai to a poster/essay contest for school children in Guwahati.
  • Northern Ireland joined the Republic of Ireland's smoking ban in pubs, restaurants and other businesses.
  • Milan, Italy, has launched an appeal to get people to stop smoking and donate the money saved to planting trees in Ecuador.
  • Tokyo, Japan, is holding a freestyle International Art Event promoting World No Tobacco Day to thousands of Japanese and international visitors.
  • Beirut, Lebanon, has set up a cigarette exchange booth. Hand in three cigarettes and get three tips for quitting. Hand in your entire pack and get a full quit-kit that includes counselling and nicotine gum.
  • In Male, Maldives, government offices are putting up Anti-Tobacco message boards in all health facilities and schools as well as covering table tops in all open air restaurants, hotels and cafes with anti-smoking messages.
  • Port-Louis, Mauritius, is launching a TV and radio campaign and holding a poster competition for school children and teens.
  • Nepal is transmitting tobacco awareness programs through Radio Kathmandu, broadcasting throughout the country.
  • New Zealand health support centers are handing out media kits and sending educational teams to schools and workplaces.
  • Nigeria is putting up anti-tobacco posters in all its hospitals and holding a mandatory information session for all medical students at the University College Hospital in Ibadan.
  • Pakistan has planned parades and marches through the markets. Marchers will carry anti-tobacco posters and hand out leaflets.
  • Peru has started a tobacco-free movement in all schools in the capital city of Lima.
  • Philippines has launched a media campaign with an anti-smoking jingle "Be Smart, Don't Start". Davao City celebrates five years of being the only city in that country to have an anti-smoking law.
  • Portugal has started its "Hospitals without Tobacco" campaign throughout Lisbon.
  • Singapore has a new initiative aimed at youth. The Youth Advolution for Health (YAH) is a peer-run program aimed at helping teens not to give in to the pressure to smoke focus on staying healthy instead.
  • Sri Lanka has gone smoke free in the city of Battaramulla and the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol will be holding public awareness workshops.
  • Switzerland GLOBALink has posted a website showing an on-line selection of international videos about smoke-free environments and quitting.
  • Thailand is holding a rally in Nonthaburi where the country's health professionals are running or jogging in a marathon to raise awareness about tobacco and its impact on health.
  • In the United Arab Emirates, the city of Dubai has arranged for medical tests for all smokers. On June 1 a country-wide marathon starts off a month long media campaign for going smoke free inside.
  • United Kingdom has started a smoke-free campaign for homes, schools and vehicles. Smoke-Free Fulham is in the forefront, handing out presents and giveaways for children.
  • The U.S. has a number of campaigns throughout the country. San Diego is launching its Smoke-Free Transit Stops campaign. Washington citizens are awaiting the results on the vote for a statewide ban on smoking outdoors. There are now 2,000 cities and towns that have banned smoking indoors. The Chicago City Council is considering banning smoking in all public places following the lead from New York City, Austin and Columbus, Ohio.