“You’re always better off if you quit smoking; it’s never too late.” – David Byrne
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed on 31st May around the world. The members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987, to draw people’s attention globally to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and diseases it causes.
The World Health Organisation created this day aiming to wide-spread the awareness about the dangers and harmful health effects caused by tobacco use and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. The campaign also serves as a driving force to engage the stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for tobacco control.
Tobacco consumption is dangerous in every manner as it causes cancer, respiratory diseases, lung diseases, and tuberculosis (TB). These diseases can be eliminated in the first place only if people start quitting tobacco.
The World Health Association (WHA) adopted a treaty in Geneva; World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) on 21 May 2003 and 168 countries of the world signed it on 27 Feb 2005 to prevent the spread of harmful tobacco.
The Theme of WNTD 2020 is- “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.”
It is in the observation that, in recent decades, the tobacco industry has been deliberately adopting various tactics to attract youth to tobacco products. Every year 7 million tobacco consumers die of tobacco- attribute/ imputable disease.
WHO emphasizes that the tobacco industry manipulates youth with different strategies, including use of youth-appealing flavours, attractive product designs, promotion claims of “harsh-reduction”, sponsoring celebrities/ influencers and brand events, point-of-sale marketing at vending outlets frequented by children, and indirect marketing, etc.
The main motto behind the theme of WNTD 2020 is-
- Breaking the myths and exposing the manipulation tactics of the tobacco and nicotine industries, especially those who mislead the youth.
- Spreading awareness in youth about the industry’s intentions and tactics regarding tobacco and nicotine uses.
- Empowering the authorities to protect the youth from the chela of tobacco addiction, and fight against it.