This annual event informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.
Tobacco industry interference is the theme of WNTD 2012, with the aim to expose and counter the tobacco industry's brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine global tobacco control efforts.
About World No Tobacco Day
World No Tobacco Day was created in 1987 by the member states of WHO. It encourages a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe.
Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke.Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80% will live in low- and middle-income countries.
Some Facts - Be Aware
- Tobacco is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardio-vascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases. NCDs account for 63% of all deaths worldwide.
- Health-care systems have primary responsibility for treating tobacco dependence. But sadly, in most countries, health care systems are not equipped to deal with this problem.
- Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke (called second hand smoke), by persons other than the intended 'active' smoker. It occurs when tobacco smoke permeates any environment, causing its inhalation by people within that environment. Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke causes disease, disability, and death.
- More than one billion smokers worldwide are addicted to tobacco When informed of the risks, most tobacco users want to quit, but few get help and support to overcome their dependence.
- Quitting tobacco is the best thing that tobacco users can do to protect the health of themselves and others.
- 12 hours after quitting tobacco,the carbon monoxide level in blood drops to normal.
Quitting tobacco is not easy as tobacco dependence is a cluster of behavioural, cognitive and physiological phenomena. Very few tobacco users can successfully quit the habit in their first attempt.
Social norms do not support tobacco users to quit in some high-burden countries. For example, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) shows that: In India, about 26% of current adult smokers plan to or are thinking about quitting in the next 12 months.
Evidence-based support to quit tobacco use (tobacco dependence treatment) includes methods from simple medical advice to pharmacotherapy, along with quit lines and counselling. However, tobacco users have low levels of awareness of the evidence about these tobacco dependence treatment interventions.
Combating tobacco industry interference
The WHO urges countries to protect public health policies from commercial and other vested interests of the tobacco industry. Today it is releasing a technical resource paper and global brief to help guide countries on ways to combat tobacco industry interference. The paper covers a range of issues including:
- maneuvering to hijack the political and legislative process
- exaggerating the economic importance of the tobacco industry
- manipulating public opinion to gain the appearance of respectability
- fabricating support through front groups
- discrediting proven science
- intimidating governments with litigation or the threat of litigation.
Image courtesy: Google Images
Observe World No Tobacco Day- Quit Smoking , make the world a better place to live in!