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The Union is supporting volunteers working for the smokefree Olympics in Sochi with an online training course about tobacco-free sporting environments, including communications skills on how to interact with violators of the ban.

Sochi-volunteersThe Olympics in Sochi will be the twelfth in history to be free from tobacco smoke. The ban will protect more than 155,000 athletes, sports delegation representatives and volunteers from the harmful effects of smoking.

The importance of tobacco-free sports will be promoted throughout the event, and smoking will be forbidden in all training areas, official venues and throughout the Olympic Park.

The Union's online course 'Tobacco-free Sport, Training for Volunteers' was developed in collaboration with the Sochi City Administration, Sochi Volunteer Center and World Lung Foundation. Produced in Russian, the course covers the health benefits of a smokefree environment, current tobacco control legislation in Russia, the history of tobacco-free Olympic Games and the smoke-free sports movement. Participants will gain communications skills to help them interact with visitors to the Games, as well as advice for handling those who ignore the smokefree policy.

A media awareness campaign on 'Sochi's Smokefree Olympics' and Russia's tobacco control legislation is featuring on television, radio, billboards, posters and in printed publications, to encourage compliance with the ban. To build awareness among international visitors, trains connecting Sochi airport with the Olympic Park and city centre will feature public service announcements about the smokefree policy.

'The Union is proud to be part of this collaboration to make the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games tobacco-free', says José Luis Castro, Interim Executive Director of The Union. 'Sporting events are a perfect setting for stressing the vital importance of lung health and smokefree environments.'

Photo credit: Rozanna Polodyan


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The Tobacco Control Department is based at The Union Europe Office, Edinburgh, registered charity no. SC039880
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