World No Tobacco Day Helps to Spread Awareness

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By: Kaitlin Christ

Over six million people are killed each year by something that can be prevented.

Paraguayan student Paulina Velazquez, left, of the Adventist School , pretends to smoke during a No-Tabacco march on World No Tobacco Day in downtown Asuncion, Paraguay, Wednesday, May 31, 2006. The World Health Organization said smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of death worldwide, claiming 4.9 million lives a year. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

Paraguayan student Paulina Velazquez, left, of the Adventist School , pretends to smoke during a No-Tabacco march on World No Tobacco Day in downtown Asuncion, Paraguay, Wednesday, May 31, 2006. The World Health Organization said smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of death worldwide, claiming 4.9 million lives a year. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)

According to the American Cancer Society, one billion people smoke cigarettes around the world, which is roughly one seventh of the total world population. In that one billion, half of the users will die of smoking related causes. World No Tobacco Day was created to spread awareness of the negative effects of not just smoking, but all other forms of tobacco use.

World No Tobacco Day annually takes place on May 31st, and was created by the World Health Organization. On this day it is encouraged to refrain from using tobacco products for 24 hours, in effort to assist users that are trying to quit.

World No Tobacco Day has been taking place since 1988. Every year, the World Health Organization focuses on a different theme that revolves around the effort to decrease and prevent the use of all forms of tobacco. Some of those themes include “1988 Tobacco or Health: choose health” and “2002 – Tobacco free sports.”

One large factor that the World Health Organization advertises is that the negative effects of tobacco use are preventable.  A effect of tobacco products includes various types of cancers, including bladder, esophagus, and kidney, as well as other diseases including heart disease. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Among all current U.S. adult cigarette smokers, nearly 7 out of every 10 (68.8%) reported in 2010 that they wanted to quit completely.” This shows that the message World No Tobacco Day attempts to spread could be convincing many individual to consider quitting.  

Even non tobacco users can still be victims of the effects that tobacco products have on humans. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.” In 2001, the theme of World No Tobacco Day was called “Second-hand smoke kills,” which shows the seriousness of how it can affect non smokers.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Since 2002, the number of former smokers has been greater than the number of current smokers.” This shows that people may be realizing the negative effects of tobacco use and are taking action in order to live a long, healthy life.