On May 31, the day before the federal anti-smoking law comes into force across Russia, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics marked the World No Tobacco Day. Olympic and Paralympic Games organizers traditionally play an active role in the fight against smoking. The Games in Sochi will be the twelfth ones to be free from tobacco smoke, protecting over 155,000 athletes, sports delegation representatives and volunteers from the harmful effects of smoking.
During the Games in Sochi, smoking will be forbidden at all Olympic venues with the exception of specially allocated and marked zones. There will also be a ban on smoking in the bars and restaurants situated in the Olympic Park. In addition, there will be no cigarettes on sale in any of the Olympic venues, while during events the message of the Organizing Committee's anti-smoking policy will be broadcast on the scoreboard and over the radio.
In preparation for the 2014 Games, Sochi was one of the first Russian cities to lead the fight against smoking and for the past four years has implemented the "Sochi, a city free of smoking" project. Today, the Olympic host city is a model for other Russian cities in the prevention and control of tobacco use. According to a recent Olympic Games Impact survey, the number of smokers in Sochi and the Krasnodar Region has reduced, and the number of cigarettes they smoke per day is less than in Russia as a whole. In Sochi and the Krasnodar Region at the beginning of 2011, 37% and 34% of the population smoked, correspondingly. By February 2012, the percentage of smokers in the Region had dropped slightly to 33%, but in Sochi it has fallen dramatically to 28%. The survey also found that 80% of the Sochi and Krasnodar Region population already supports the government initiative to restrict smoking.
As part of the on-going project, in 2010 the "Sochi - a tobacco-free city" Charter was adopted, aimed at restricting tobacco advertising and the creation of areas free from tobacco smoke. To date, the Charter has been signed by more than 100,000 residents and visitors of the city. A map of Sochi was developed by the city administration indicating no-smoking areas and where corresponding signs have been installed.
Notes to the Editor
The Organizing Committees for the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Winter Games traditionally play an active role in the fight against smoking. At the Calgary Olympics in 1988, the Games were declared an event free from tobacco smoke for the first time.
The history of cooperation between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Olympic Movement goes back 20 years. In 1993, the IOC and WHO signed their first cooperation agreement. In 2010, it was supported by a memorandum in which the organizations pledged to help promote a healthy lifestyle, physical activity and sport among the population at international and local levels.
The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee is working closely with the WHO office in the Russian Federation and Sochi Administration on issues of promoting a healthy lifestyle and stopping smoking.