Politics & Campaigns

Geneva Protest

A protest march against smoker oppression will proceed from the Broken Chair point in front of the United Nations to World Health Organisation’s headquarters in Geneva

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A protest march against smoker oppression will proceed from the Broken Chair point in front of the United Nations to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, on 7 November 2021, at 11am. Participation is free and organisers plan to transport

The protest is happening one day before the World Health Organisation’s Conference of Parties (COP9) meeting about the future of tobacco control in the world.

Today, smoking causes 8 million deaths a year and 250 million serious illnesses. Despite decades of multi-billion-dollar efforts, tobacco is still the number one cause of death in the world.

Organisers say: “The worldwide tobacco control community has creatively made the public believe that smoking is a problem of bad habits and therefore smokers' responsibility.

“As a result, science-based approaches like tobacco harm reduction are abandoned, and the deadliest product in human history continues to take 20 thousand human lives every day.”

The Smokers’ Rights Movement (1) sees an urgent need to bring attention to the absence of public oversight of tobacco policy and its devastating results on more than a billion smokers in the world. The Smokers’ Rights Movement says it demands changes from governments’ current ineffective and unscientific approach to a tobacco control that prioritises public health.

The protest features costumes made from black body bags with large magenta helium balloons on the top. Registration for the event is open at https://smokersrights.org/cop9

The Smokers’ Rights Movement is an online, crowd-funded community collaborating on a variety of projects to work towards eliminating smoking deaths. Started in 2021 as a non-profit organisation, it says it is quickly growing through online and offline activities.

On 8 November 2021 in Geneva, WHO is holding the COP9 conference. The Smokers’ Rights Movement says this is “another step in the shadows to decide the fate of 1.3 billion smokers. This is about us. Let’s show them that not inviting us to the talks is a mistake!”

Sunday, November 7, 2021.

  • Multiple free bus trips from the EU with your friends
  • Authorized carnival march
  • Protest in front of the UN & WHO HQ
  • Buses home the same day

The organisers state: “Everything is Free. The Future is Priceless. Let’s Make a Noise!

The march has been authorised by the Geneva Department of Security and Sports and those interested can sign up here.

The Smokers’ Rights Movement is strictly anti-commercial, forbids any connection to cigarette sales and doesn’t have any donations from institutions or funds.


  1. The Smokers’ Rights Movement - https://smokersrights.org

Photo Credit:

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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