31 May: World No Tobacco Day
The World No Tobacco Day 2017 was observed across the world on 31 May 2017 with the theme Tobacco – a threat to development.
This year's theme focuses on measures that the governments and public should take to promote health and development by confronting the global tobacco crisis.
The theme was chosen by WHO to highlight that how tobacco threatens the development of nations worldwide and also to press the need for implementing some strong tobacco control measures such as banning marketing and advertising of tobacco, promoting plain packaging of tobacco products, raising excise taxes and making public places smoke-free.
Facts about tobacco and tobacco control
• Tobacco use leads to more than 7 million deaths every year and it is predicted by WHO that figure may grow to more than 8 million a year by 2030 without intensified action.
• Tobacco use costs national economies enormously through increased health-care costs and decreased productivity. It worsens health inequalities and exacerbates poverty.
• Tobacco plantation requires large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, which can be toxic and pollute water supplies. Each year, tobacco growing uses 4.3 million hectares of land, resulting in global deforestation between 2 per cent and 4 per cent.
• By increasing cigarette taxes worldwide by USD 1, an extra USD 190 billion could be raised for development.
• High tobacco taxes contribute to revenue generation for governments, reduce demand for tobacco, and offer an important revenue stream to finance development activities.
WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
• The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) guides the global fight against the tobacco epidemic.
• WHO FCTC is an international treaty with 180 Parties (179 countries and the European Union).
• Till now, more than half the world’s countries, representing nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population (2.8 billion people), have implemented at least one of the WHO FCTC’s most cost-effective measures to the highest level.
Tobacco use is a threat to any person, regardless of gender, age, race, cultural or educational background. It brings suffering, disease, and death and poverty.
Around 80 per cent of premature deaths occur in low- or middle-income countries from tobacco.