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Sunday, 25 May 2008 06:24

May 31: World No Tobacco Day 2008

Each year on May 31, the World Health Organization celebrates “World No Tobacco Day,” a day that WHO uses to highlight the risks of smoking and to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2008 is Tobacco-Free Youth. Young people are aggressively targeted by the tobacco industry which spends billions of dollars each year marketing its products.”

In addition, “To protect the world's youth from experimenting with tobacco and becoming regular users, this year's World No Tobacco Day campaign calls for a ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.” [WHO: “World No Tobacco Day: Theme: TOBACCO-FREE YOUTH”]

World No Tobacco Day was created by WHO in 1987 to “… draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and its lethal effects. Tobacco is the number one preventable epidemic that the health community faces."

The WHO website for “World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2008” is part of its Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

There is no need to re-word what WHO eloquently states on this website. The World Health Organization statement is quoted in its entirely here:

“Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It is the only legal consumer product that kills one third to one half of those who use it as intended by its manufacturers, with its victims dying on average 15 years prematurely.”

“Approximately 1.8 billion young people (aged 10-24) live in our world today with more than 85% found in developing countries. Having survived the vulnerable childhood period, these young people are generally healthy.“

“However, as the tobacco industry intensifies its efforts to hook new, young and potentially life-long tobacco users, the health of a significant percentage of the world's youth is seriously threatened by their deadly products.”

“Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and child and adolescent experimentation can easily lead to a lifetime of tobacco dependence.”

The WHO estimate how many people are killed prematurely by the use of tobacco each year--in the world. What's your guess? Check out the next page for the answer.

According to the WHO article (pdf file) “Gender and tobacco control: A policy brief,” “Tobacco kills 5.4 million people a year: that figure will rise to 8.3 million by 2030.”

Remember, May 31, 2008 is "World No Tobacco Day"!

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