World No Tobacco Day: YADD against manipulative tactics of tobacco industry

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On this World No Tobacco Day, Youth Against Alcohol and Drug Dependency (YADD) in Zimbabwe has said it stands united against the manipulative tactics of the tobacco industry on children.

“As YADD, We are committed to protecting our generation and future ones from the harmful effects of tobacco and vaping. We call on governments to hold the tobacco industry accountable, reject profit-driven solutions that compromise our health, and advocate for policies that safeguard both our health and the environment. Together, we can create a tobacco-free future,” said Ellen Maparura, the YADD Youth Leader.

Friday 31 May 2024 is this year’s World No Tobacco Day running under the theme “Protecting Children Against Tobacco Interference.”

Young people under the Global Youth Voices (GYV) have made a Declaration below:

GYV Declaration:

  1. We, the youth of the world, have gathered to recognize the role of the tobacco industry and those furthering its interests, in perpetuating the tobacco and vaping
  2. We have crafted and endorsed this declaration to underscore our dedication to tackling the issue, raising awareness about the tobacco industry’s accountability to our generation and those to come, and compelling governments worldwide to take decisive We understand that the primary obstacle to prioritizing our well-being is the tobacco industry and those furthering its interests. Given that the world has committed to upholding our rights, prioritizing the protection of public health,[2] and recognizing the fundamental conflict of interest between the tobacco industry and public health,[3] there’s no justification for allowing tobacco industry interests to outweigh our collective welfare.
  3. We refuse to accept compromised solutions that prioritize lining the pockets of tobacco companies under the guise of benefiting smokers, while ultimately sacrificing our well-being. As victims of the tobacco industry’s predatory tactics, we demand justice and restitution for the harm inflicted and ongoing threats to our health and
  4. 1t’s crucial for all youth to be aware and vigilant, to avoid becoming pawns in the industry’s We urge every young individual to safeguard their peers from lifelong addiction by actively confronting tobacco marketing tactics that prey on children and adolescents, ensnaring them in a cycle of addiction. Our collective strength lies in participating in campaigns that shield young people from industry interference, both locally and globally. To achieve this goal, we must reject, denounce, and condemn tobacco funding and any engagements or ties with the tobacco industry-linked organizations. We need to expose the industry’s approaches and outreach to the youth, and hold the tobacco industry, along with those furthering its interests, accountable for their complicity in perpetuating the cycle of addiction and environmental degradation.
  5. Whatever action taken by governments so far is simply inadequate. Governments, while claiming to care about the youth, continue to fail us. We want governments to stop their lip service and start showing they really care by taking these actions:
  6. Particularly, we demand that governments take WHO FCTC and human rights treaty- commitments very seriously and adopt pro-youth tobacco-related

Make Tobacco Industry Pay (Liability)

  1. We urge governments and policymakers worldwide to hold tobacco companies accountable for fostering addiction among vulnerable youth and to address environmental damages caused by their products, such as polluting oceans with toxic plastics from cigarettes. Access to justice is imperative to ensure that the tobacco industry bears the financial responsibility for its actions. Moreover, we call for the insulation of policy development processes from the tobacco industry, in accordance with Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), to safeguard public health policies from conflicts of interest.


Protect the Environment


  • Adopt a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, including so-called Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), tobacco Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), and tobacco Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), cross-border tobacco advertisement, promotion, and sponsorship, as well as the depiction of tobacco in entertainment and digital


  • Adopt an immediate ban on cigarette filters and disposable vapes plastics in related electronic devices), while ensuring protection from tobacco industry (Classify these as hazardous waste, reject eco-friendly filters and ineffective recycling initiatives pushed by the industry.


  • Adopt and implement measures to hold the tobacco industry liable for harms caused, including measures to require the industry to bear the financial consequences of harms through taxes levies, compensation mechanisms, sanctions, and other administrative and legislative measures. Additionally, support measures that impose or significantly increase taxes on the tobacco industry but ensure that these measures are not exploited to evade liability or gain positive social standing.

Ban Addictive Products 

  • Stop considering tobacco and the related industry’s products as harm reduction strategies or public health interventions and adopt and implement a ban on any new recreational addictive products.*
  • Support a strict application of the polluter pays principle and do not extend EPR privileges and benefits to the tobacco industry as it is not an ordinary
  • Promote policy coherence and reiterate these policies that put youths first when representing the nation in various intergovernmental panels and


  1. Governments that have banned novel products* of the tobacco industry have significantly lower youth vaping rates and set a commendable example for the rest of the We implore such governments to collaborate and share strategies for resisting tobacco industry interference to help others follow suit.


*Novel & emerging nicotine and non-nicotine products.


  1. We further call on our allies and those not affiliated with the tobacco industry to lend their Public officials at Ministries of Health and the Environment** hold a crucial responsibility in implementing the outlined policy positions to protect youth from the influence of the tobacco industry. We implore our allies to prioritize youth well-being by adopting clear policies that unequivocally reject any form of tobacco industry interference, safeguarding policies from their commercial interests. Heads of States, Parliament, and Local Governments** must abstain from engaging with the tobacco industry and reject any attempts at exerting influence as history demonstrates the industry’s prioritization of profit over youth health. Furthermore, United Nations (UN) agencies and international organizations should align with their human rights commitments by adopting a model policy to counter tobacco industry interference. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), educational institutions, and media outlets** must reject tobacco industry funding and influence to safeguard youth from addiction. Parents, guardians, and teachers** are urged to advocate for policies that protect youth from tobacco industry tactics, ensuring a tobacco-free future for the next generation. (**See Annex for customized messages for each ally)

Our commitment

  1. Finally, we pledge to remain vigilant against the deceptive tactics of the tobacco industry, advocating for policies that prioritize our health and well-being. We will raise our voices, educate our peers, and hold our leaders accountable for their Together, we will build a tobacco-free world, ensuring a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.


This Declaration was adopted at the Global Youth Voice Summit, hosted by the Global Centre for Good Governance on Tobacco Control (GGTC) in May 2024, in line with the World No Tobacco Day theme: Protecting Children Against Tobacco Industry Interference. The context can be found here.

About the Global Youth Voices

The Global Youth Voices (GYV) is a movement that represents youth coalitions and organizations from across the globe that seek to make the tobacco industry pay for the harms caused to the planet and its people, not only for those in this generation but also for future generations. GYV’s previous statements and initiatives have been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and at the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Conference of the Parties. The Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control (GGTC) convenes and provides technical assistance to GYV.