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World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2020: Current Theme, History, Significance and Facts

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) 2020: It is an annual event organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to highlight the risk associated with the use of tobacco, to make people understand how second-hand smoke affects smoker, their family and their community. It is also important to advocate policies that reduce the use of tobacco.

This is also the day when smokers are encouraged to quit their journey or not smoke at least 24 hours first. Use of tobacco causes several diseases like tooth decay, cancer, cardiovascular disease, staining of teeth etc.

What is Tobacco?

Tobacco is an agricultural crop, a plant that is grown all over the world. Do you know that tobacco is a nervous system stimulant that triggers complex biochemical and neurotransmitter disruptions? Its leaves contain high levels of the addictive chemical nicotine which is harmful to health and causes adverse effects. Generally, people consume tobacco leaves via smoking through cigarettes, cigars and pipes or applied to the gums while dipping and chewing tobacco and also through inhaling as snuff.

It is common and famous saying that “Health is Wealth”. Good health is the feeling of mental, physical and social well being by any person and not only to be free of diseases.

 World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day emphasises on the health and other risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Several campaigns, events and activities are organised on this day to educate people about the bad effects of tobacco on health. We all know that whether eating tobacco or other such products will give pleasure for some time but it will take life away. It may happen that after chewing tobacco a person feels energetic for a while but have you ever thought why is it so? They make addiction and you will be caught in this wheel which will be hard to get out.

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World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day 2020: Theme

The theme of World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day 2020 is "Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use".

For decades, the industry of tobacco employed strategic, aggressive and well-resourced tactics to draw in youth to tobacco and nicotine products. This year World No Tobacco Day will provide a counter-marketing campaign and empower youth people to engage in the fight against Tobacco. 

The theme of World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day 2019 was "Tobacco and Lung Health".

Several campaigns were organised on this day to educate people about the negative impact of tobacco on the lungs of the people, it may also cause cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. It was also focused on some policies to reduce the consumption of tobacco and engaging stakeholders across multiple sectors for controlling tobacco.

The theme of World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day 2018 was “Tobacco and heart disease”. It was focused on cardiovascular health.

According to WHO the campaign will increase the awareness on:

- The link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, which combined are the world’s leading causes of death.

- Feasible actions and measures that key audiences, including governments and the public, can take to reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco.

World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day: History

In 1987, the Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.

World Health Assembly on 15 May,1987 passed a resolution calling for 7 April 1988 "a World No-Smoking Day". This date was chosen because it was the 40th anniversary of the World Health Organization.

Further, in 1988 another resolution was passed for celebrating World No Tobacco Day every year on 31st May.

The day also focuses on the impact of tobacco on the cardiovascular health of people. It may be the risk factor of causing coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Also, the day will provide knowledge to people that tobacco is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

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How Chewing tobacco impact on health?

- Chewing tobacco paves short or long term effects on health.

- It can cause an ulcer, staining of teeth, cavities, tooth decay, tooth loss etc. which are short-term health effects.

- It also causes bad breath, sores mouth and even makes difficult for a person to eat food.

- Sometimes it can make tongue senseless and due to this person will not be able to taste the food.

- Tobacco causes dizziness in the person due to which feeling of tiredness occurs.

- If a person continuously chews tobacco then short-term disease may lead to long-term and causes severe health problems like cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke etc.

- Chewing tobacco can cause oral cancer or precancers.

- It can cause leukoplakia i.e. whitish patches inside the mouth occurs that can become cancerous.

Facts about Tobacco

- Do you know that tobacco is a product of fresh leaves of nicotiana plants?

- It was originated in America but introduced to the French court by Jean Nicot in the 16th century and popularised throughout Europe.

- Soon it became popular and an important crop for trade.

- In the 1900s some medical research made it clear that tobacco increases health problems like heart attacks, strokes, cancer etc.

- People use tobacco in the form of cigarettes, cigars, bidis, chew tobacco, snuff, gutkha etc.

According to WHO,

Tobacco kills half of its users and more than 8 million people each year. Direct tobacco use deaths are more than 7 million and around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Also, over 80% of the world's 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low and middle-income countries.

Life is a precious gift of nature; we should value life and should not waste it by doing senseless and meaningless things. Tobacco can make you happy for some time or give pleasure for some time but a healthy person with no such habits can lead a good and happy life and can go far in life.

“Health is like money. You never know the value of it until you lost it.” by Josh Billings.

Source: WHO

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