Tobacco-Free Sports Tobacco-Free Sports
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Introduction to Tobacco-Free Sports
If current youth tobacco use trends continue, 6.4 million of today’s young people will die from tobacco-related diseases. Nearly all first-time tobacco use occurs before high school graduation. This suggests that if kept tobacco-free, most youth will never start using tobacco.
Youth sports continue to be popular in the United States. Sports activities, therefore, present great opportunities to reach young people. Young athletes learn to make important health decisions related to tobacco use, physical activity, and good nutrition while on a sports team.
Tobacco-Free Sports Movement Gains Momentum
Many high-profile athletes, coaches, agencies, and organizations joined CDC’s tobacco-free sports movement.
Agencies and organizations that support tobacco-free sports include CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), National Cancer Institute, National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, National SAFE KIDS Campaign, International Olympic Committee, Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and many other sports leagues and youth organizations.
Because of this strong support, the tobacco-free sports movement is gaining momentum in many different sports arenas.
In 2001, the Smoke-Free Soccer program went global when CDC teamed up with WHO and FIFA to promote worldwide tobacco-free messages. Women and men soccer stars and other athletes from the United States, Australia, Brazil, China, and Canada appeared in posters to show their support for the program.
The tobacco-free Olympic tradition continued in Torino, Italy (2006). The 2008 Olympic Games in China, as well as 2010 Vancouver Games will be tobacco-free.
CDC welcomes your participation in the effort to promote sports participation as a healthy and positive alternative to tobacco use.