World No Tobacco Day (May 31): What is Its Theme, History, Significance and Facts
|World No Tobacco Day 2021 Theme - Commit To Quit|
World No Tobacco Day is observed every year on May 31 to spread awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco on health. The aim of this campaign is also to reduce the prevalence of the diseases and deaths due to the consumption of tobacco, according to ZeeNews.
World No Tobacco Day 2021 Theme - Commit To Quit
Every year, a different theme highlights the dangers of smoking, and anti-tobacco campaigns revolve around that theme. Some World No Tobacco Day themes have included:
2017 - Tobacco: a threat to development.
2018 - Tobacco and heart disease.
2019 - Tobacco and lung health.
2020 - Tobacco Exposed: The Secret's Out.
The World No Tobacco Day theme for 2021 is "Commit to Quit".
Tobacco causes 8 million deaths every year. Evidence released this year shows that smokers were more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users saying they want to quit. Commit to quit today and sign the pledge, reported by Calendarr.
This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, 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.
The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a "a world no-smoking day." In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May, according to WHO.
Significance and Facts
Smokers have a greater risk of developing a severe case and dying from COVID-19.
Smoking is one of the world's most preventable causes of disease and death, however, over 6 million people still die from tobacco use every year. It is also estimated that 600,000 people lose their lives every year due to second-hand smoke. At the same time, studies show that 80% of these deaths occur in low and middle-income households. With the average smoker spending around $4,000 on tobacco every year, this shows how tobacco contributes to perpetuating poverty.
Quitting can be challenging, especially with the added social and economic stress that have come as a result of the pandemic, but there are a lot of reasons to quit. After just 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your heart rate drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. Within 2-12 weeks, your circulation improves and lung function increases. Within 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Within 5-15 years, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker. Within 10 years, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker. Within 15 years, your risk of heart disease is that of a non-smoker, according to PAHO.
|Digital solutions to help the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users to quit |
WHO set up the new Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco, which gives people, among other things, free access to digital counselling. WHO has partnered with tech companies like Facebook, WhatsApp and Soul Machines to raise awareness and support tobacco users to quit with the help of chatbots and digital health workers. For instance, Florence, a digital counsellor, based on artificial intelligence, helps people develop a personalized plan to quit tobacco and guides them to available mobile apps and toll-free quit lines in their countries. Meanwhile, the Quit Challenge on WhatsApp provides signed-up tobacco users with free messages on how to quit, directly to their mobile phones.
These and other global and regional cessation tools will be rolled out as part of the campaign for World No Tobacco Day 2021, which will reiterate once again that strong cessation services improve health, save lives and save money.
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