The 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar this weekend on November 20th and FIFA, WHO and authorities in Qatar have made significant efforts to ensure it will be tobacco-free. Tobacco sponsorships aren’t permitted and stadia hosting the matches will be smoke-free.
However, we know the industry sees opportunity in large, young audiences. In countries around the world where football fans are watching, we expect tobacco companies will try to exploit interest in the World Cup. This may include tactics such as:
- Joining the conversation on social media with posts expressing support for national teams, players, or excitement about the competition.
- Promoting tobacco industry involvement in football at the local level, such as ownership or sponsorship of club or youth development teams.
- Advertising products during or immediately after match broadcasts on TV, radio or online.
- Sponsoring World Cup coverage on TV, in print and online media outlets.
- Launching football / World Cup-themed product promotions like special cigarette packs or advertising, price promotions or “Get ready to watch the match” product bundles that include tobacco.
- Sponsoring and/or placing booths or running product promotions where groups of fans gather to watch matches in public places like parks where giant screens are erected, or even in café's or bars showing matches.
If you spot any tobacco industry activity related to the World Cup, please share the evidence with STOP, providing brief details and pictures/ links if possible at:
and we’ll call it out, where we can.
In the meantime, read more about tobacco industry sponsorship of football on TobaccoTactics and listen to the recording of last week’s Twitter Spaces event, hosted by WHO, for more about:
➡️the tactics the industry uses to reach football fans
➡️why sports & tobacco don’t mix
➡️why all countries should enjoy #tobacco-free sport.
Thank you for your help in holding the industry accountable for trying to reach sports fans!
Sarah Hughes (she/her)
STOP, a tobacco industry watchdog
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