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Tobacco Marketing and Football: A Losing Game

Football is the world’s most popular sport, and every four years, billions tune into its largest tournament: the FIFA Men’s World Cup. This global fandom makes the sport and the World Cup an alluring target for tobacco advertising and promotion.

FIFA, the governing body of world football and the World Cup, banned tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship at the tournament in the late 1980s. However, in many countries, tobacco marketers continue to use the tournament to promote products at the national and local level. This is a concern because tobacco marketing in sports drives youth experimentation and endears tobacco brands to them. Not much is known about online tobacco marketing activities pegged to the recent 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This report analyzes marketing instances on social media in Indonesia, India and Mexico leading up to and during the tournament to explore how the World Cup and football stars were used to promote tobacco.

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