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148 Organizations Call for Phasing Out Sales of Combustible Tobacco Products

The lessons learned in 2020 from the bold actions taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic provide an opportunity to consider equally bold actions that will be required to tackle other global health pandemics. The undersigned organizations from around the world find that the ongoing suffering and death caused by the tobacco pandemic require similar decisive actions. Governments should commit to work towards phasing out sales of combustible tobacco products.

Tweet your SupportIt has been 70 years since publication of the landmark studies showing definitively that cigarettes caused deadly lung cancer. When those first studies emerged in the 1950s, a world free of combustible tobacco products was inconceivable. Since then, countries that have implemented policies such as raising combustible tobacco product taxes, marketing restrictions and smoke-free air laws have realized dramatic reductions in combustible tobacco use. Yet combustible tobacco products continue to cause the addiction of youth and the premature deaths of millions.

We now understand clearly that we face an industrially-produced pandemic, but these products remain widely sold as though they were normal consumer products. They are not. They are the most deadly consumer products in human history.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that governments do have the capacity to respond to a major threat to global health. Governments’ priorities must change so that they emphasize protecting the health, equity and well-being of their people. Today, a world in which combustible tobacco is no longer sold as a legitimate commercial product is within reach.

148There exists a human rights duty to phase out combustible tobacco product sales. The Danish Institute for Human Rights correctly concluded after examining Philip Morris International’s supply chain for human rights compliance: “tobacco is deeply harmful to human health, and there can be no doubt that the production and marketing of tobacco is irreconcilable with the human right to health.” The tobacco industry has utterly and repeatedly failed to uphold the basic obligation of any reputable business: to not sell products that cause great harm when used as intended. When the human rights of citizens are violated by corporations, governments have a duty to stop them. Ending combustible tobacco sales is essential to addressing health inequalities and promoting healthy human and economic development for future generations.

The vision to end the combustible tobacco epidemic is not new. Several countries have set themselves on a path to end smoking within a generation. Bhutan banned tobacco sales years ago, and two cities in California have already passed ordinances to end tobacco sales from 1 January 2021. Dutch lawmakers have passed laws aimed towards phasing out cigarette sales. As organizations concerned with advancing health, we urge all governments to set a deadline for phasing out sales of combustible tobacco products and to engage in a comprehensive planning process for achieving that goal.


Signed 148 organizations

1.) ACT – Alliance contre le tabac

2.) ACT healthy Laboratory, University of Cyprus

3.) Action on Smoking and Health

4.) Action on Smoking and Health Foundation Thailand

5.) African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council

6.) African Communities Public Health Coalition

7.) Airspace Action on Smoking and Health

8.) Alianza Bolivia Libre Sin Tabaco

9.) Alianza ENT Chile

10.) Alliance of Banning Cigarettes TAIWAN (ABC#Taiwan)

11.) American Heart Association

12.) Anti Tobacco Network (Botswana)

13.) ASH Canada

14.) ASH Finland

15.) Ash Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation

16.) ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre

17.) Association of American Cancer Institutes

18.) Australian Council on Smoking and Health

19.) Bayside Smokefree Housing Alliance

20.) Bosma Consulting


22.) Cancer Control Agency, Te Aho o Te Kahu

23.) Cancer Foundation of India

24.) Cascade City-County Health Department

25.) Catalan Institute of Oncology / WHO Collaborating Center on Tobacco Control

26.) CEDRO – Centro de Información y Educación para la Prevención del Abuso de Drogas

27.) Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health (CPATH)

28.) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UCSF

29.) CIET URUGUAY (Tobacco Epidemic Investigation Center)

30.) Cigarette Butt Pollution Project

31.) City of Beverly Hills

32.) Coalición México Salud{Hable

33.) Community Action for Healthy Living, Inc.

34.) Corporate Accountability

35.) Counter Tools

36.) Cyprus Ministry of Health

37.) Cyprus’ National Addictions Authority (NAAC)

38.) Danish Cancer Society

39.) Dhaka Ahsania Mission

40.) DNF-Pour un Monde Zero Tabac

41.) Doctors Against Tobacco

42.) Equality California

43.) Equity and Wellness Institute

44.) Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

45.) Family & Youth Enrichment Network (People for Tobacco-Free Communities)

46.) FIC Bolivia and Alianza Bolivia Libre Sin Tabaco

47.) Fundación MÁS QUE IDEAS


49.) Global Bridges: Healthcare Alliance for Tobacco Dependence Treatment

50.) Greater Sacramento Smoke & Tobacco Free Coalition

51.) GW Cancer Center

52.) Hāpai Te Hauora

53.) Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

54.) HealthJustice Philippines

55.) Healthy Romania Generation 2035 Association

56.) Hyahbelatadkheen

57.) International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA)

58.) Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association (IATA)

59.) Irish Heart Foundation

60.) Israel Council for the Prevention of Smoking

61.) Israeli Medical Association for Smoking Cessation and Prevention

62.) Japan Society for Tobacco Control

63.) Jeewaka Foundation

64.) Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

65.) Kavali Consulting LLC

66.) Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance

67.) Kosovo Advocacy and Development Centre – KADC

68.) Lina and Green Hands Society

69.) Lithuanian Tobacco and Alcohol Control Coalition

70.) Loma Linda University, School of Public Health

71.) Macedonian Respiratory Society (MRS)

72.) Making it Count Community Development Corporation

73.) Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education


75.) Mayes County HOPE Coalition

76.) Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

77.) Menzies School of Health Research

78.) Movendi International

79.) National Origin Alliance

80.) NCD Alliance

81.) New York State Public Health Association


83.) NY SAHY

84.) Office of Samoan Affairs

85.) ONG CLUCOD(Comité/Club Universitaire Unesco pour la Lutte contre la Drogue et autres pandémies)

86.) OxySuisse

87.) PASYKAF The Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends

88.) Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd

89.) Peter Tatchell Foundation

90.) Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada

91.) Policy group on tobacco at the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland

92.) Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation

93.) PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress)

94.) Program on Human Rights in Development, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

95.) Public Health Advocacy Institute

96.) Public Health Law Center

97.) Rajasthan Cancer Foundation

98.) Resource Centre for Primary Health Care, Nepal

99.) Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce – IESO

100.) Romanian Society of Pneumology

101.) Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

102.) Salud Justa MX

103.) Samoa Cancer Society

104.) Satva Charitable Sanstha

105.) School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland

106.) SCTC-Slovenian Coalition for Public Health and Tobacco Control

107.) SERAC-Bangladesh

108.) SHERPA Institute

109.) Silver State Equality-Nevada

110.) Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

111.) Slovenian Coalition for Public Health, Environment and Tobacco Control

112.) Smoke Free Life Coalition

113.) Smoke Free St. Joe Coalition

114.) Smokefree Air For Everyone

115.) Smoke-Free Shoals: Hope for the Homeless

116.) SmokeFree Tasmania

117.) Sociedad Española de Geriatría y Gerontología (SEGG)

118.) Swarna Hansa Foundation

119.) Swiss Association for Smoking Prevention AT

120.) T&T Consulting Limited


122.) Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum (TTCF)

123.) Te Ha Ora the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation Charitable Trust

124.) The Aegle Project

125.) The Arab Council for Social Responsibility

126.) The Cancer Society of New Zealand- Te Kāhui Matepukupuku o Aotearoa

127.) The Center for Black Health & Equity

128.) The Danish Heart Foundation

129.) The Ohio State University College of Public Health

130.) The University of Kansas Cancer Center

131.) Tobacco – Free Association of Zambia

132.) Tobacco and Vape Free Orange County Coalition

133.) Tobacco Control Alliance in Georgia

134.) Tobacco Free Vigo Coalition

135.) Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center

136.) TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland

137.) UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

138.) UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

139.) Unfairtobacco

140.) UniTS – Università del Terzo Settore

141.) University of Maryland School of Public Health

142.) University of Newcastle School of Medicine and Public Health

143.) VISA

144.) Vision for Alternative Development

145.) Winona County Alliance for substance Abuse Prevention

146.) Youth Against Drug Abuse Foundation (YADAF) International

147.) Youth Network No Excuse Slovenia

148.) Zambia Heart and Stroke Foundation


*This letter is NOT signed by anyone affiliated with the tobacco industry or an organization that accepts tobacco industry funding. Tobacco industry is defined as any organization involved in the marketing of nicotine products other than government-approved cessation treatment. We reserve the right to remove any tobacco industry affiliated organizations from this list. 

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