Tobacco Free Initiative | Events and meetings | Tobacco = cancer: Why take the risk?

Tobacco = cancer: Why take the risk?

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On 25 October 2009, a press conference on “Tobacco = cancer: Why take the risk?” was held in Cairo, Egypt, to raise public awareness about the ill-health effects of tobacco use, in particular cancer.

A call for action was adopted by the Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean and the WHO Global Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control calling out to Member States across the Region to form a united front against two of the most deadly causes of disease and death worldwide.



Fact sheets


Call for action

Press release




Image shows a cigarette burning through healthy lungs.

 Image shows a young boy’s head trapped in a plastic bag, crying, suffocating, unable to breathe. The slogan reads Smoking isn’t just suicide. It’s murder.


Image shows a cigarette burning through a healthy stomach.

 Lungs and tobacco use

Smoking is murder

Stomach and tobacco use


Image shows a stick figure of a child holding a heart. The slogan reads Mom I love you! Stop smoking!

 Image shows a cigarette, burning at the tip, on a growth chart, with age versus height calibrations from 0 to 90 years. The slogan reads How long can you live?


Image shows a bullet and cigarette, lying in parallel, with the words Quick under the bullet and Slow under the cigarette, depicting the impact of each item on the human body.

Mom stop smoking!

How long can you live?

 Death and tobacco use


Image shows four photos of a woman’s face, before and after 20 years, depicting how tobacco use leads to premature ageing.


Wrinkling and tobacco use



  • Tobacco-free public spaces

Tobacco-free public places means that ALL indoor workplaces and indoor public places should be 100% smoke-free.

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Statistics and figures

By 2030 70% of tobacco-related deaths will be in developing countries

Tobacco use in the Eastern Mediterranean Region