Monday, June 24, 2024

World No Tobacco Day 2024: Significance, Theme & More – N.F Times

World No Tobacco Day is observed annually on May 31 to raise awareness about the health risks associated with the use of tobacco.

This day is a reminder of several health risks like heart disease, stroke, cancer and some respiratory illnesses. Smoking is fatal to health causing millions of deaths every year imposing a huge burden on healthcare systems.

History and Significance:

The World Health Organisation passed a resolution WHA40.38 in 1987 and declared April 7, 1988, “a world no-smoking day.  This marks the 40th anniversary of the organisation and this was the first step in the direction of a broader movement.

Once the no-smoking day succeeded, the WHO established Resolution WHA42.19 in 1988 and created World No Tobacco Day which will be observed every year on May 31.

This day plays a key role in raising awareness among people about the potential health risks associated with tobacco use. This includes the risk involved in the dangers of smoking and the use of tobacco products causing health issues like cancer, heart disease, stroke and respiratory illnesses.


Theme of World No Tobacco Day 2024:

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2024 is “Protecting children from tobacco industry interference”. The message is to protect future generations and ensure a constant decrease in tobacco consumption”.

Risks of tobacco:

Tobacco consumption is a major cause of a range of health issues. These conditions are not only dangerous but can be fatal.

Here are some of the harmful effects of tobacco: 

Cancer: Smoking causes many types of cancer, including lung, mouth, throat, liver, stomach, and ovarian cancer.

Lung disease: It causes lung disease by damaging the airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) present in the lungs. It causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Pregnancy complications and reduced fertility: Smoking during pregnancy has a bad impact on the baby’s health. It can lead to early birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth. In men, it affects sperm count and reduces fertility in both men and women.

Cardiovascular Disease: The use of tobacco will increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It also damages blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower.

Weakened Immune System: Smoking weakens the immune system and makes the body more vulnerable to infections.

Diabetes: Tobacco also causes type 2 diabetes among smokers. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for active smokers than nonsmokers.

Premature Ageing: Smoking can cause premature ageing, wrinkles, and skin damage.

Dental Problems: Tobacco use can also affect the health of teeth and gums and lead to tooth loss and oral cancer.

Ways to quit smoking

The most important action people can take is to quit smoking to improve their health. Quitting tobacco is challenging but can be achieved with the right methods and support. As per the WHO, only 23 countries provide comprehensive cessation services with full or partial cost coverage to assist tobacco users in quitting. Health professionals recommend several methods for quitting, such as nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) like patches, gums, and lozenges.

People can also opt for medications like bupropion SR and varenicline that help reduce cravings. There are seven safe and effective medicines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help you quit. One can also start a counselling session with a health care professional to quit smoking.


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