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Letter: 154 Organizations Call for Phasing Out Sales of Combustible Tobacco Products

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154 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.

There 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 154 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.) LAC+USC Medical Center Foundation
69.) Lina and Green Hands Society

70.) Lithuanian Tobacco and Alcohol Control Coalition

71.) Loma Linda University, School of Public Health

72.) Macedonian Respiratory Society (MRS)

73.) Making it Count Community Development Corporation

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


76.) Mayes County HOPE Coalition

77.) Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

78.) Menzies School of Health Research

79.) Movendi International

80.) National Origin Alliance

81.) NCD Alliance

82.) New York State Public Health Association

83.) Nofumadores.org

84.) NY SAHY

85.) Office of Samoan Affairs

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

87.) OxySuisse

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

89.) Pegasus Health (Charitable) Ltd

90.) Peter Tatchell Foundation

91.) Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada

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

93.) Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation

94.) PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress)

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

96.) Public Health Advocacy Institute

97.) Public Health Law Center

98.) Rajasthan Cancer Foundation

99.) Resource Centre for Primary Health Care, Nepal

100.) Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce – IESO

101.) Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Florida International University
102.) Romanian Society of Pneumology

103.) Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

104.) Salud Justa MX

105.) Samoa Cancer Society

106.) Satva Charitable Sanstha

107.) School of Global Public Health, New York University

108.) School of Public Health and Information Sciences, University of Louisville

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

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

111.) SERAC-Bangladesh

112.) SHERPA Institute

113.) Silver State Equality-Nevada

114.) Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

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

116.) Smoke Free Life Coalition

117.) Smoke Free St. Joe Coalition

118.) Smokefree Air For Everyone

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

120.) SmokeFree Tasmania

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

122.) Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)

123.) Swarna Hansa Foundation

124.) Swiss Association for Smoking Prevention AT

125.) T&T Consulting Limited


127.) Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum (TTCF)

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

129.) The Aegle Project

130.) The Arab Council for Social Responsibility

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

132.) The Center for Black Health & Equity

133.) The Danish Heart Foundation

134.) The Ohio State University College of Public Health

135.) The University of Kansas Cancer Center

136.) Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center

137.) Tobacco – Free Association of Zambia

138.) Tobacco and Vape Free Orange County Coalition

139.) Tobacco Control Alliance in Georgia

140.) Tobacco Free Vigo Coalition

141.) Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center

142.) TobaccoFree Research Institute Ireland

143.) UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

144.) UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

145.) Unfairtobacco

146.) UniTS – Università del Terzo Settore

147.) University of Maryland School of Public Health

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

149.) VISA

150.) Vision for Alternative Development

151.) Winona County Alliance for substance Abuse Prevention

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

153.) Youth Network No Excuse Slovenia

154.) 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. 


Additional signatories added on June 23, 2022.