Every year, on 31st May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).
- The day is celebrated to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.
WNTD Theme of 2021:
- This year’s theme of the 2021 WNTD is “Commit to quit.”
- Under this theme, the WHO aims to promote tobacco cessation through supporting robust tobacco cessation policies, improving access to cessation services, raising awareness about the tactics of the tobacco industry, and supporting people who want to quit tobacco via Quit and Win initiatives.
- In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for April 7, 1988, to be “a world no-smoking day.”
- In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on May 31.
- This date was chosen as it was the 40th anniversary of the World Health Organization.
- World No Tobacco Day has been observed every year on 31st May since 1989.
- This yearly celebration aims to raise awareness amid the global citizens about not only the dangers of using tobacco but also 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.
Facts about tobacco, heart and other cardiovascular diseases:
- Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide.
- The use of tobacco and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to approximately 12% of all heart disease deaths.
- Tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure.
- The global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke.
- Nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is the heaviest.
About WHO MPOWER Measures:
The WHO MPOWER measures are in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and can be used by governments to reduce tobacco use and protect people from NCDs. These measures include:
- Monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies.
- Protecting people from exposure to tobacco smoke by creating completely smoke-free indoor public places, workplaces and public transport.
- Offering help to quit tobacco (cost-covered, population-wide support, including brief advice by health care providers and national toll-free quit lines).
- Warning about the dangers of tobacco by implementing plain/standardized packaging, and/or large graphic health warnings on all tobacco packages, and implementing effective anti-tobacco mass media campaigns that inform the public about the harms tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure.
- Enforcing comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
- Raising taxes on tobacco products and make them less affordable.
- World Health Organization (WHO) was created in 1948 by member states of the United Nations (UN) as a specialized agency with a broad mandate for international public health.
- It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The main objective of WHO is “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible standard of health.” It plays an essential role in the global governance of health and disease.
- Its mission is to improve people’s lives, to reduce the burdens of disease and poverty, and to provide access to responsive health care for all people.
- The WHO is governed by two decision-making bodies, the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board.
- The current Director-general of WHO is Tedros Adhanom.