31 Jul 2018 FIFA World Cup 2018 Offers Good Practices in Tobacco Control
As part of preparatory work being undertaken for the Respect Your Health programme at EURO 2020, Healthy Stadia undertook a site visit of the St Petersburg stadium in Russia over the course of the FIFA World Cup to assess good practices adopted on matchdays to promote a tobacco-free environment.
Following publication of its Tobacco-Free Policy for FIFA Events in March 2017, FIFA implemented an entirely tobacco-free tournament, meaning that use of tobacco and e-cigarettes was completely prohibited after passing the first entry point to host venues – both inside the venues and in external areas.
Furthermore, in accordance with Russian law, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee went one step further than previous editions of the World Cup, with no provision of designated smoking areas at any host venues.
At Healthy Stadia’s site visit to the St Petersburg Stadium hosting Nigeria V Argentina on 26th June, compliance with the policy both inside the stadium bowl and in external areas was extremely good, with only a very small number of exceptions to the rule detected, and none inside the stadium bowl.
No Smoking signage was highly visible in all parts of the venue from the first entry point onwards, whilst a large number of well-trained stewards and volunteers were on hand to enforce the policy onsite.
FIFA also displayed another good practice on the big screen at half-time by teaming up with Spanish football legend Carles Puyol in a video to promote a smoke-free lifestyle, and remind fans that smoking is prohibited within the stadium. The Carles Puyol video and more information on FIFA’s tobacco-free policy at the tournament can be viewed here.