16 April 2008
A press release from the World Health Organization.

Internationally-distributed publication features innovative format and design.

On 7 February, in New York City, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on the global tobacco epidemic in book format that was entirely produced in Brazil.  The graphic design of the first English language edition was made by the São Paulo graphic design shop Estúdio Infinito and collaborators, while Pancrom Gráfica e Editora was responsible for printing and finishing the 12,000 copy print run.

The WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008 - The MPOWER package - is a compilation of data regarding the use of tobacco in the world, exposed graphically in a form that is innovative for this segment: it launches the campaign with a brand - MPOWER - referring to strategies frequently used by the cigarette industry, making use of pictures of healthy people and adding an attractive slogan, "Fresh and Alive".

On February 8, the Wall Street Journal reported that, "the glossy report, which will be given to national health officials around the world, attempts to energize the fight against tobacco with messages and marketing tactics mirroring those of the tobacco industry and other major consumer good companies.  While public health messages can often be dour, warning people to avoid harmful behaviors, the report is full of colorful pictures of vibrant, healthy young people and employs the slogan 'fresh and alive'."

MPOWER Package is a set of tools that any health department or health care agent throughout the world can use easily to fight against, treat, or prevent the use of tobacco.  It is an easy brand to remember and acronym of the six strategies proposed:
  • Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
  • Protect people from tobacco smoke
  • Offer help to quit tobacco use
  • Warn about the dangers of tobacco
  • Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship
  • Raise taxes on tobacco

Graphic production of the book has a unique feature.  It is a rectangular cutout that goes through all the pages and houses a gift for the reader: a box designed purposely to resemble a cigarette box but containing note paper and pens.  The pens are printed with the six strategic messages of the MPOWER brand - a means of enhancing message recall.

The report's innovative nature is evident in all aspects: scientific, graphic, editorial, and political.  Data collection involved 179 countries which in itself represents a great effort in terms of research and data analysis.  Funding for publication came from the Bloomberg Foundation, presided by New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg who, upon the report's release commented: "The report is revolutionary.  For the first time we have an uncompromising approach and solid data."

Doctor Margaret Chan, WHO director general, and Mr Michael Bloomberg, New York's Mayor, at the launch of the report in New York City, 7 February 2008. Picture copyright AP.

The report is being distributed in pdf format or in print on the WHO website:

  • Project Coordinator and Concept:  Kraig Klaudt
  • Design Coordinator: Ruth Klotzel
  • Editorial Coordinator: Patrícia Logullo
  • Design: Ruth Klotzel / Alessandra Viude
  • Design Assistants: Larissa Ribeiro / Juliana Shiraiwa / Mariana Cotrim
  • Graphic Producer: Rogério Nicolau

Reprinted with permission from the World Health Organization.

For more information, please contact:

Alison Clements-Hunt
Communications Officer
WHO, Geneva
T: + 41 22 791 5539

Stéfanie Laniel
Communications Officer
WHO, Geneva
T: +41 22 791 1018