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International Council of Nurses
International Pharmaceutical Federation
World Confederation for Physical Therapy
World Dental Federation
World Medical Association
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Joint Statements

World Medical Association [WMA]
International Council of Nurses (ICN)
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)



ICN Joins other Health Professionals calling for a
Tobacco Free World on World No Tobacco Day 1999


The International Council of Nurses (ICN)
International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)
World Medical Association (WMA)



Health Professionals are alarmed at the increasing and widespread use of tobacco products.

Some facts:

  • Currently there are 1.2 billion smokers world-wide
  • Annually, tobacco kills 4 million people world-wide, which could increase to 10 million people annually by 2020
  • Unless the trend is reversed, tobacco related mortality could account for 70% of all deaths by the year 2020
  • Harmful substances from second hand or environmental tobacco smoke cause a serious health threat to millions of non-smokers
  • Nearly 80% of smokers start the habit before the age of 18 years.

It is of particular concern to the health professionals of the world that the tobacco industry is increasingly targeting young people, women and the developing countries to expand their markets.

Although the health consequences of tobacco are now well documented, measures to deal with them so far are shamefully inadequate. Therefore, the World Medical Association (WMA), International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), International Dental Federation (FDI) and the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) urge national health professional associations:

  • To unite their efforts in the war against tobacco use, and to actively work for a tobacco-free world.
  • To co-ordinate efforts with other national anti-smoking groups to bring to the attention of their governments the harmful effects of tobacco and encourage their governments to reduce, discourage and eradicate tobacco use.
  • To encourage their governments to develop policies that ban tobacco advertising and promotion; require prominent and significant tobacco warnings on all tobacco products; ban smoking in public places and commercial airline flights, provide public education campaigns against tobacco use, and encourage tobacco farmers to shift to crop substitution.  

Moreover, individual health professionals are called on to:

  • Ban smoking within their premises and at all meetings and conferences of the national associations \
  • Promote smoke free hospitals and other health facilities.
  • Develop programs to educate the health professions and the public regarding the health hazards of tobacco use.
  • Encourage health professionals to be living examples of a tobacco-free lifestyle, and to be champions for this cause.
  • Lobby for increased taxation on tobacco products and to use the revenue for health care.
  • Distance themselves and their professional associations from the tobacco industry

31 May 1999  


The World Health Professions Alliance brings together medicine, nursing and pharmacy through their representative international organisations, International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) and the World Medical Association (WMA) and represents more than 20 million health professionals worldwide.


  • The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of 125 national nurses' associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide.  Operated by nurses for nurses since 1899, ICN is the international voice of nursing and works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

  • The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the worldwide federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Pharmacists are health care professionals dedicated to improving access to and value of appropriate medicine use worldwide.   

  • The World Medical Association (WMA) is a global federation of national medical associations, representing the millions of physicians worldwide.  Acting on behalf of physicians and patients, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical science, education, ethics and health care for all people.



For further information contact Linda Carrier-Walker Tel :  +41 22  908 0100;
fax :   +41 22  908 0101;  email:  ; Web site  www.icn.ch 







1999 World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) Copying, downloading and distribution of material from the WHPA web page is permitted as long as credit in print is given and that the material will not be used for commercial or for-profit purposes without permission.