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.
Facts about Tobacco & Smoking
Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke
- Tobacco is costly- Tobacco use costs national economies enormously through increased health-care costs and decreased productivity.
- Tobacco is full of chemicals- There are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke. Tobacco growing requires large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, which can be toxic and pollute water supplies.
- Some chemicals can cause cancer- 69 of these harmful chemicals are known to cause cancer.
- Smoking can literally kill you- There is enough nicotine in five cigarettes to kill an average adult if ingested whole.
Effects of Tobacco & Smoking on Health
Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis. Estimates show smoking increases the risk:
- For coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times
- For stroke by 2 to 4 times
- Of men developing lung cancer by 25 times
- Of women developing lung cancer by 25.7 times
Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year. Secondhand smoke causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.
Smoking & Increased Rate of Death
- Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Illegal drug use
- Alcohol use
- Motor vehicle injuries
- Firearm-related incidents
- Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
- Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Cigarette smoking increases risk for death from all causes in men and women.
- The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in the U.S.
HOW TO OBSERVE WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY & Quit Smoking
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!
Find Your Reason
To get motivated, you need a powerful, personal reason to quit. It may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke. Or lower your chance of getting lung cancer, heart disease, or other conditions. Or to look and feel younger. Choose a reason that is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up.
There’s more to it than just tossing your cigarettes out. Smoking is an addiction. The brain is hooked on nicotine. Without it, you’ll go through withdrawal. Line up support in advance. Ask your doctor about all the methods that will help, such as quit-smoking classes and apps, counseling, medication, and hypnosis. You’ll be ready for the day you choose to quit.
Lean On Your Loved Ones
Tell your friends, family, and other people you’re close to that you’re trying to quit. They can encourage you to keep going, especially when you’re tempted to light up.
Give Yourself a Break
One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you’ll need new ways to unwind. There are many options. You can exercise to blow off steam, tune in to your favorite music, connect with friends, treat yourself to a massage, or make time for a hobby..
Once you’ve smoked your last cigarette, toss all of your ashtrays and lighters. Wash any clothes that smell like smoke, and clean your carpets, draperies, and upholstery. Use air fresheners to get rid of that familiar scent. If you smoked in your car, clean it out, too. You don’t want to see or smell anything that reminds you of smoking.
Encourage people around you
As they say, the best way to quit smoking is to never start. So try and encourage other people around you to avoid the habit altogether. Teenagers can be a bit mischievous, so you should guide them from starting that how harmful smoking can be.