31 May: World No Tobacco Day
World No Tobacco Day was observed across the world on May 31, 2018. The World Health Organisation (WHO) along with its partners mark the day each year by highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Theme of World No Tobacco Day 2018: ‘Tobacco and heart disease’
World No Tobacco Day 2018 aims to increase awareness on:
• The link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, which combined form the world’s leading causes of death.
• Increase awareness within the broader public of the impact tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke have on cardiovascular health.
• Provide opportunities to the public, governments and others to make commitments to promote heart health by protecting people from use of tobacco products.
• Encourage countries to strengthen implementation of WHO’s MPOWER tobacco control measures.
The World No Tobacco Day 2018 coincides with a range of global initiatives and opportunities that are aimed at addressing the tobacco epidemic and its impact of public health, particularly in causing the death and suffering of millions of people globally.
The actions include the WHO-supported Global Hearts and RESOLVE initiatives, which aim to reduce cardiovascular disease deaths and improve care and the third United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of NCDs, being held in 2018.
Impact of Tobacco on the health of people
• Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.
• Despite the known harms of tobacco to heart health and the availability of solutions to reduce related death and disease, knowledge among large sections of the public that tobacco is one of the leading causes of CVD is low.
• Currently, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is known to kill more people worldwide than any other cause and tobacco use and passive smoking exposure contribute to approximately 17% of all heart disease deaths.
• Tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure.
• Globally, tobacco consumption claims the lives of more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from inhaling second-hand smoke.
• Moreover, nearly 80 per cent of more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.
• Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies,
• Protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke by creating completely smoke-free indoor public places, workplaces and public transport,
• Offer help to quit tobacco such as cost-covered, population-wide support, including brief advice by health care providers and national toll-free quit lines.
• Issuing warning regarding the dangers of tobacco consumption by implementing plain/standardized packaging 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.
• Enforce comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
• Raise taxes on tobacco products and make them less affordable.