World No Tobacco Day : WHO

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The focus of this year’s World No Tobacco Day, May 31, is on protecting young people from the marketing of big tobacco companies and helping them avoid using tobacco andit only gained notoriety with the general public after it was stolen from the Louvre in 1911 by an Italian employee named Peruggia.

Peruggia as a patriot of Italy believed that the masterpiece should be returned to Italy and hang in an Italian public gallery, not in a French one.

It was recovered and now hangs in the Louvre where it is viewed by  nicotine. Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors this awareness day to highlight the health risks of using tobacco and to encourage governments to put policies into action that help to reduce smoking and the use of other tobacco products.

According to WHO, tobacco use kills more than 8 million people around the world each year, a number that is predicted to grow unless anti-tobacco actions are increased. In the United States, tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of death and disease. It causes many types of cancer, as well as heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other health problems.

This year, WHO is encouraging efforts that empower young people to stand up to big tobacco companies by resisting their ads and marketing, refusing to use any tobacco or nicotine products (including e-cigarettes and other vaping devices), and helping to spread the message among their friends. WHO is also working to expose myths and the ways tobacco companies market their products to young people. They are encouraging famous people, the media, and other influencers including parents and teachers to protect young people from these harmful messages. According to WHO, tobacco companies use many ways to appeal to young people:

  • Flavors. Some tobacco and nicotine products come in cherry, bubble gum, cotton candy and many more.
  • Design. Certain types of products are shaped like USB sticks or candy, making them attractive, easy to carry, and easy to hide.
  • Unproven Claims. Tobacco companies sometimes say certain products, such as vaping devices, are “cleaner” or “less harmful” than smoking, even though there is not enough scientific evidence to back up those claims.
  • Endorsements. Contests, paid celebrities, and “influencers” are used to promote products on social media.
  • Point-of-sale. Placing products in stores near sweets, snacks, and sodas makes it more likely young people will see them.
  • Movies and More. Showing tobacco and nicotine products in movies, TV, and streaming shows can make them seem appealing.
  • Vending machines that sell tobacco products. They can be covered with advertising and placed at venues where young people often go.

Studies show that most people who smoke started when they were teenagers. The younger someone is when they begin to use tobacco and nicotine products, the more likely they are to become addicted. This is why it’s so important for young people to stay away from smoking and vaping. Learn more from the American Cancer Society.

Say No To Tobacco


World No Tobacco Day is hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) every year on May 31.


World No Tobacco Day is an initiative by the World Health Organization and is observed on May 31 every year. The campaign aims to spread awareness about the dangers of tobacco and its negative impact on health, as well as the exploitation of the nicotine industry that is geared towards the youth in particular. It also aims to reduce the diseases and deaths caused by tobacco consumption. The World No Tobacco Day theme for 2021 is “Commit to Quit.”

The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 as a response to the global tobacco crisis and the diseases and deaths caused by the epidemic. The World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38 in 1987, calling for April 7 to be “World No-Smoking Day.” Next, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed in 1988, issuing May 31 as an annual observance of World No Tobacco Day.

The World Health Organization reports 8 million deaths every year due to the consumption of tobacco. Tobacco is the leading cause of respiratory disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, tuberculosis, and other lung diseases. In 2008, the WHO banned any kind of advertisement or promotion of tobacco. As the world’s most populated country, China is the leader in the cigarette industry. More than 30% of the total cigarettes in the world were produced and consumed in China in 2014.


Which is the World No Tobacco Day?

The World Health Organization observes World No Tobacco Day on May 31 every year to protect youth from the dangerous habit of smoking.

When was World No Tobacco Day declared?

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 diseases it causes.

What is the purpose of World No Tobacco Day?

Initially, the purpose of World No Tobacco Day was to discourage people from using tobacco or nicotine products for 24 hours. The observance became an annual event to create awareness on the exploitation of the tobacco industry and the harmful effects of smoking on one’s health.


  • Count the number of cigarettes you smoke

  • You might not be ready to quit, and who can blame you? It's tough. But you can start laying the groundwork for your exit by counting the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day. You'll start to think more about your health and the amount of money you put into tobacco. When you're ready to take the plunge, there are plenty of self-help books that will guide you through the early rocky stages. You can do it!

  • Educate the youth

  • As they say, the best way to quit smoking is to never start. So try and encourage young people around you to avoid the habit altogether. Depending on where you live, there might be a march or some public demonstrations. Maybe you can design a cool poster to help promote them. Better yet, hold a contest to see who can create the best anti-smoking poster. Teenagers can be a bit mischievous, so you'll want to clearly define what's “appropriate” before they hit you with the final reveal.

  • Lobby for sticker laws

  • Warning labels on cigarette boxes deter people from smoking. Petition to support these laws so that the trend continues to gain momentum. Also, plain packaging laws could also use some more backing. These laws place restrictions on the logos and colors of tobacco products, which make them tougher to sell. You know how you can't judge a book by its cover? Well, people definitely judge a product by its packaging. If label looks drab, we're less likely to pay it any mind, and that's totally not shallow. It's not like tobacco has a good personality on the inside.


  • Tobacco is full of chemicals
  • There are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke.
  • Some chemicals can cause cancer
  • 69 of these harmful chemicals are known to cause cancer.
  • Smoking laws aren’t widespread
  • Only 20% of the world's population is protected by smoking laws, mostly in high-income countries.
  • The coming generations will also be affected
  • Statistics predict that 5.6 million children living in the U.S. today will die of a smoking-related disease.
  • Smoking can literally kill you
  • There is enough nicotine in five cigarettes to kill an average adult if ingested whole.


  • It shows us how the tobacco industry contributes to poverty
  • Around 80% of deaths due to tobacco happen in low and middle income countries. In other words,the poorest people are the ones most negatively affected. Due to addiction, money that could be used on education, food, or health care, goes to tobacco. Over the years, this decreases productivity and drives up the cost of health care. That’s not a pretty picture for any income, and it's a sure-fire way to keep the less fortunate impoverished.
  • It warns us of the dangers of second-hand smoke
  • Second-hand smoke causes over 600,000 deaths a year. Sadly, about 28% of the victims are kids. But considering that nearly 50% of children breathe smoky air in public places, we're lucky that the rate isn't higher. Many cities and states already have public smoking bans, but it will take more work to get everybody on board. This is one time when you can jump on the bandwagon without losing any cool points—we promise.
  • It demonstrates how the tobacco industry damages the environment
  • Growing tobacco takes a lot of pesticides and fertilizers. Some of these toxic elements can seep into water supplies, but the damage doesn't stop there. The manufacturing process creates more than 2 million tons of waste and consumes 4.3 million hectares of land. It's estimated that this contributes between 2% and 4% of the world's deforestation. If you like to breathe air (we're pretty big fans of it), it's worth saving as much of our forests as possible. A few less tobacco farms could help.

Reasons to Quit Smoking

Lots of studies have been done about the benefits of quitting smoking. Decades of research have found several good reasons to quit, including health and financial benefits that can save lives and money. While it’s best to quit as early in life as possible, quitting at any age can lead to a better health and lifestyle.

Quitting can make you look, feel, and be healthier

  • Using tobacco leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death.
  • Secondhand smoke is dangerous and can harm the health of your friends and family.

Quitting can help you save money

  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products are expensive.
  • The risk for getting colds and other respiratory problems is lower, meaning fewer doctor visits, less money spent on medicines, and fewer sick days off work.
  • Cleaning and home repairs could cost less since clothes, furniture, curtains, and the car won’t smell like tobacco.
  • Quitting can improve self-confidence and lead to a better lifestyle
  • Not using tobacco products helps keep your family safe.
  • Your may have more energy, helping you have more quality family and leisure time.
  • Quitting can set a good example for others who might need help quitting.
  • Others will be proud of your progress and willpower to quit and stay quit.

Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking Over Time

It’s never too late to quit using tobacco. The sooner you quit, the more you can reduce your chances of getting cancer and other diseases.

Within minutes of smoking your last cigarette, your body begins to recover:
20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

A few days after quitting

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

1 to 12 months after quitting

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Tiny hair-like structures (called cilia) that move mucus out of the lungs start to regain normal function, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

1 to 2 years after quitting

Your risk of heart attack drops dramatically.

5 to 10 years after quitting

Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, and voice box (larynx) is cut in half. Your stroke risk decreases.

10 years after quitting

Your risk of lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking (after 10 to 15 years). Your risk of cancer of the bladder, esophagus, and kidney decreases.

15 years after quitting

Your risk of coronary heart disease is close to that of a non-smoker.

These are just a few of the health benefits of quitting smoking for good, but there are others, too.

Quitting smoking lowers your risk of other cancers over time as well, including cancers of the stomach, pancreas, liver, cervix, and colon and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Quitting also lowers your risk of diabetes, helps your blood vessels work better, and helps your heart and lungs.

Quitting smoking can also add as much as 10 years to your life, compared to if you continued to smoke. Quitting while you're younger can reduce your health risks more (for example, quitting before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%), but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

Are there other benefits of quitting that I’ll notice right away?

Kicking the tobacco habit offers some other rewards that you’ll notice right away and some that will show up over time.

Right away you’ll save the money you spent on tobacco. And here are just a few other benefits you may notice:

  • Food tastes better.
  • Your sense of smell returns to normal.
  • Your breath, hair, and clothes smell better.
  • Your teeth and fingernails stop yellowing.
  • Ordinary activities (for example, climbing stairs or light housework) leave you less out of breath.
  • You can be in smoke-free buildings without having to go outside to smoke.
  • Quitting also helps stop the damaging effects of tobacco on how you look, including premature wrinkling of your skin, gum disease, and tooth loss.

How to Help Someone Quit Smoking

  • General hints for friends and family
  • Do respect that the person trying to quit is in charge. This is their lifestyle change and their challenge, not yours.
  • Do ask the person whether they want you to ask regularly how they’re doing. Ask how they’re feeling – not just whether they’ve stayed quit.
  • Do let the person know that it’s OK to talk to you whenever they need to hear encouraging words.
  • Do help the person who's quitting to get what they need, such as hard candy to suck on, straws to chew on, and fresh veggies cut up and kept in the refrigerator.
  • Do spend time doing things with the person who's quitting to keep their mind off smoking – go to the movies, take a walk to get past a craving (what many call a “nicotine fit”), or take a bike ride together.
  • Do try to see it from the point of view of the person who's quitting – their habit may feel like an old friend who's always been there when times were tough. It’s hard to give that up.
  • Do make your home smoke free, meaning that no one can smoke in any part of the house.
  • Do remove all lighters and ash trays from your home. Remove anything that reminds them of smoking.
  • Do wash clothes that smell like smoke. Clean carpets and drapes. Use air fresheners to help get rid of the tobacco smells – and don’t forget the car, too.
  • Do help the person who's quitting with a few chores, some child care, cooking, running errands – whatever will help lighten the stress of quitting.
  • Do celebrate progress along the way. Quitting smoking is a BIG DEAL!
  • Do thank the person who's quitting for not exposing others to harmful secondhand smoke.
  • Don’t doubt their ability to quit. Your faith in the person who's quitting helps remind them they can do it.
  • Don’t judge, nag, preach, tease, or scold. This may make the person who's quitting feel worse. You don’t want your loved one to turn to a cigarette to soothe hurt feelings.
  • Don’t take grumpiness personally when the person who's quitting is having nicotine withdrawal. Tell them you understand the symptoms are real and remind them that they won’t last forever. The symptoms usually get better in a few weeks.
  • Don’t offer advice. Just ask how you can help with the plan or program they are using.
  • If the person who's quitting “slips”
  • Don’t assume that they will start back smoking like before. A “slip” (taking a puff or smoking a cigarette or 2) is pretty common when a person is quitting.
  • Do remind the person who's quitting how long they went without a cigarette before the slip.
  • Do help the person who's quitting remember all the reasons they wanted to quit, and help them forget about the slip as soon as possible.
  • Do continue to offer support and encouragement.
  • Do congratulate the person who's quitting for making a quit attempt, and remind them that it can take many attempts before quitting for good.
  • Don’t scold, tease, nag, blame, or make the person who's quitting feel guilty. Be sure they know that you care about them, whether or not they smoke.
  • If the person who's quitting relapses
  • Research shows that most people try to quit smoking several times before they succeed. (It’s called a relapse when people trying to quit go back to smoking like they were before they tried to quit.) If a relapse happens, think of it as practice for the next time. Don’t give up your efforts to encourage and support your loved one. If the person you care about fails to quit or starts smoking again:
  • Do praise them for trying to quit, and for whatever length of time (days, weeks, or months) of not smoking.
  • Do remind them that they didn’t fail – they are learning how to quit – and you’re going to be there for them the next time and as many times as it takes.
  • Do encourage them to try again. Don’t say, “If you try again...” Say, “When you try again...” Studies show that most people who don’t succeed in quitting are ready to try again in the near future.
  • Do encourage them to learn from the attempt. Things a person learns from a failed attempt to quit may help them quit for good next time. It takes time and skills to learn to how to be a person who doesn't smoke.
  • Do say, “It’s normal to not succeed the first few times you try to quit. You didn’t smoke for (length of time) this time. Now you know you can do that much. You can get even further next time.” Most people understand this, and know that they have to try to quit again.
  • If you smoke and are in contact with someone trying to quit
  • Do smoke outside and always away from the person trying to quit.
  • Do keep your cigarettes, lighters, and matches out of sight. They might be triggers for your loved one to smoke.
  • Don’t ever offer the person trying to quit a smoke or any other form of tobacco, even as a joke!
  • Do join your loved one in their effort to quit. It’s better for your health and might be easier to do with someone else who is trying to quit, too.

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