The International Football Federation (FIFA) and the Local Organizing Committee, Russia-2018, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) have staged a conference in Moscow on June 28 to address the agenda of creating a smoke-free environment during the World Cup and other major sports events. The core audience of the conference, representing the 2018 World Cup host cities, consisted of public servants and executives in charge of sports, healthcare, and the staging of FIFA fan festivals during the upcoming World Cup.
The participants were updated on the measures being taken in Russia to discourage smoking and reduce tobacco consumption, and introduced to the implementation vehicles and legal aspects of the antismoking effort. Experts shared their experience of enforcing a smoke-free environment in the host cities, discussed the achievements and the challenges involved, and examined international best practice in the field.
"Smoking is the single fully preventable cause of death in the world, but it’s incredibly widespread. A person dies every six seconds from a health condition caused by smoking,” said Natalia Toropova, WHO antismoking coordinator in Russia. “We appreciate that top sports authorities such as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) emphasize smoking control. They testify from experience that sports fans always welcome antismoking initiatives by the event hosts, and will readily abstain from smoking in the stadiums and fan areas. We are positive that the FIFA World Cup may become a powerful medium for promoting healthy living in sports, and demonstrate effective smoking control in action.”