Anti Tobacco Day: Know some more amazing facts about and history of Anti Tobacco Day

Every year around the world Anti Tobacco Day is observed on 31 May. Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) holds World No Tobacco Day on 31 May. Their goal is to spread awareness about the risks of tobacco use and how we can make the world tobacco free. Tobacco is an agriculture crop, a plant that is grown all over the world. Its leave contain high levels of the addictive chemical nicotine which is harmful for health and causes adverse effects generally people consume tobacco leaves via smoking through cigarettes, cigars and pipes or applied to the gums while dipping and chewing tobacco and also through inhaling as snuff.

This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco, companies, Every year roughly 6 million people die from tobacco related disease. World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day emphasis on the health and other risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

On this day several actions, events and activities are Organised to educate people about the bad effects of tobacco on health. We know that whether eating tobacco or other such products will give pleasure for sometime but it will take life away. It may happens that after chewing tobacco a person feel energetic for a while but have you ever thought why is it so? They make an addiction and you will be caught in this wheel which will be hard to get out.

Themes of Anti Tobacco Day :-

The themes of World No Tobacco Day have been :-

2000 – Tobacco kills, don’t be duped.

2001 – Second-hand smoke kills.

2002 – Tobacco free sports.

2003 – Tobacco free film, tobacco free fashion.

2004 – Tobacco and poverty, a vicious circle.

2005 – Health professionals against tobacco.

2006 – Tobacco : deadly in any form or disguise.

2007 – Smoke free inside.

2008 – Tobacco- free youth.

2009 – Tobacco health warnings.

2010 – Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on maketing to women.

2011 – The WHO framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

2012 – Tobacco industry interference.

2013 – Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

2014 – Raise taxes on tobacco.

2015 – Stop illicit trade of tobacco products.

2016 – Get ready for plan packaging.

2017 – Tobacco- a threat to development.

2018 – Tobacco and heart Disease.

2019 – Tobacco and lung health.

2020 – Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and necotine use.

World No Tobacco Day 2020 serves as a global counter- marketing compaign to-

  • Unmask myths and expose manipulation tactics of the tobacco and nicotine industries, especially those deceive the youth.
  • Equip youth with the knowledge of the tobacco and nicotine industry’s intention and tactics.
  • Empower the influences to protect the youth and fight against the Big Tobacco.

The theme of WNTD 2020 is “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”. In recent decades, the tobacco industry has been deliberately adopting various tactics to attract youth to tobacco products. Internal industry documents has disclosed that their researches and approaches to marketing compaigns, so as to replace the loss of consumers due to tobacco-attributable deaths with new young consumers.

World Health Organization emphasizes that the Tobacco industry manipulates youth with different strategies, including use of youth-appealing flavours, attractive product designs, promotion claims of “harm reduction”, sponsoring celebrities/influencers and brand events, point-of-sale marketing at vending outlets frequented by children, and indirect marketing etc.

History of Anti Tobacco Day :-

In 1987, the Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.

World Health Assembly on 15 May, 1987 passed a resolution calling for 7 April 1988. “A World No Smoking Day”. This date was chosen because it was the 40th anniversary of the WHO (World Health Organization).

In the past 21 years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance around the globe from governments, public Health Organization smokers, growers and the Tobacco Industry. It may be the risk factor of causing coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Also, this day will provide knowledge to people that Tobacco is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Further in 1988 another resolution was passed for celebrating World No Tobacco Day every year on 31st May.

Celebration of the World Tobacco Day:-

Celebration of Tobacco Day is done by the Government as well as many Non-government and Private Organisations to provide lots of information and also many types of preventive  measures to the people who are suffering from Tobacco effects.

World No Tobacco Day is used to celebrate on the 17th of May to aware the people about the effects and it’s cure to the people. There are almost 1.3 Billion Tobacco users in the World from which one out of 10 people dies due to the Tobacco use. The government can decrease the rate of death of people by 2020 by 20-25 percent by applying many types of preventive measures in the country.

There are many Anti-Smoking measures like Radio Ads, Establishing effective as well as new Public awareness compaigns showing Danger to smoke in the Public places where people are near.

In the year 1955 there are almost 37.6 percent of the smokers decreased and In the year 2006, 20.8 percent of the smokers decreased. In China, there is more than 50% of the smokers are men.

The government has taken many of the steps to reduce or remove the smoking Habits in the National as well as regional areas. Government has many of the Anti-Smoking policies to remove or reduce the smoking Habits of the people with the help of many policies such as sponsors of the Tobacco products, Increasing the Taxes on the Tobacco. Establishing Camps for the Public Checkups etc.

Steps Taken by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on World No Tobacco Day:-

  • World Health Organisation plays a central role in organising World No Tobacco Day.
  • Every year, it promotes a special theme related to Tobacco consumption and its impact on health and on society.
  • WHO also publishes and distributes posters, websites, press releases, brochures and fliers.
  • In1998, WHO also initiated another special event called the Tobacco Free Initiative (IFT).
  • WHO has banned the advertising of Tobacco products, sponsorship by Tobacco companies and promotion of any kind as a measure to curb Tobacco use.
  • In 2003, the WHO Framework Convention For Tobacco Control (FCTC) was promulgated.

Chemicals in Tobacco :-

Tobacco smoke is prepared by thousands of chemicals in which including at least 70 known to cause cancer.

Chemicals found in Tobacco smoke-

Nicotine, Formaldehyde, Arsenic, Lead, Hydrogen cyanide, Ammonia, Carbon-monoxide, Benzene, Radioactive elements (such as uranium), Nitrosamines, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Note* – Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effect people are looking for and one of the harshest chemicals in Tobacco smoke).

Some facts about Tobacco :-

  • Tobacco is a product of fresh leaves of nicotiana plants.
  • People use Tobacco in the form of cigars, bidis, cigarettes, snuff, chew Tobacco, gutkha etc.
  • Soon it became popular and an important crop for trade.
  • It was originated in the America but  introduced to Europe by Jean Nicot in 1559 in Portugal.
  • In 1900s some medical research made it clear that Tobacco increases health problem like heart attacks, strokes, cancer etc.

Disease caused by Tobacco use :-

Stroke, Lung cancer, Heart disease, Asthma, (COPD) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Premature (Low Birth-Weight Babies), Reproductive effects in Women, Blindness, Diabetes, Cataracts and Age-Related macular Degeneration, Vulnerability to over 10 types of cancer including colon, liver, stomach, cervix and pancreatic cancer.

How chewing tobacco impact on health?

Chewing tobacco paves short or long term effects on health. It can causes ulcer, staining of teeth, cavities, tooth decay, tooth loss etc. Which are short-term health effects. It also causes bad breath, sores mouth and even makes difficult for a person to eat food. Tobacco causes dizziness in the person due to  which feeling of tiredness occur. If a person continuously chews Tobacco then short-term disease may lead to long-term and causes severe health problems like cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke etc. 

Sometimes it can make tongue senseless and due to this person will not be able to taste food. Chewing Tobacco can cause oral cancer or precancers. It can cause leukoplakia i.e. whitish patches inside the mouth occurs that can become cancerous.

How is World No Tobacco Day celebrated Across India?

Like other countries, there was widespread celebrations of the World No Tobacco Day in India too. Various governmental Organisations and Non-governmental Organisations (NGOS) resolutely propagate for the end of tobacco consumption. Government bodies like the Ministry of Health and family welfare spread awareness through advertising campaigns and educational programmes. They also introduce changes at the policy level like a ban on smoking in public places.

The civil society actively participates and takes initiative to Organise demonstrations, marches and sensitation campaigns to spread awareness among people. People from different sections of society, experts come together to organise meetings, public debates, artwork and installations, health camps and other innovative anti- tobacco activities. Rallies, marches and parades are aimed at bringing about a change in the mindest of people who consume Tobacco.

Life is a precious gift of nature. We should value life and should not waste it by doing senseless and meaningless things. Tobacco can make you happy for sometime or give pleasure for sometime but a healthy person with no such habits can lead a good and happy life and can go far in life.

It is common and famous saying that “Health is Wealth”. Good health is the feeling of mental, physical and social well being by any person and not only to be free of diseases.

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