May 31 is World No Tobacco Day

May 31 - No Tobacco Day
World No Tobacco day is conducted every 31st of May. World Health Organization and its partners use the event to put the spotlight on the dangers of using tobacco and pushing campaigns that aim to educate and inform the public about its dangers to health. WHO is geared towards fighting the harms of tobacco products and helping people break the habit of tobacco use, so that they can live a healthy life.


The Beginning of World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day was started in 1987. Its main goal was to highlight tobacco’s harmful effects that can lead to sickness and death.

In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA 40.38 which marked April 7, 1988 as world no-smoking day. In 1988, Resolution WHA 42.19 was passed, and paved way for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day every 31st of May.

Each year, WHO sets a theme for World No Tobacco Day. For 2016, they’re focusing on plain packaging of tobacco products.


What is Plain Packaging?

Plain packaging refers to the standardized packaging of tobacco products. Its aim is to limit the appeal of tobacco and restricts advertising, promotion, and misleading labels on the packaging. Brand names will only be displayed in a standard color or font. On the other hand, the campaign is hoping that it will increase the effectiveness of health warnings and encourage the public to think twice about using tobacco products.


Tobacco Use and Cancer

Tobacco use is a risk factor for different diseases, including several types of cancer such as lung cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancers of the mouth, lips, nose, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon, and ovary.

Aside from increasing people’s chances of incurring different types of diseases, tobacco use can also lead to death. In the United States, tobacco use accounts for 30% of all cancer deaths and causes 87% of lung cancer deaths among men and 70% in women.

What’s more alarming is that people who don’t use tobacco also get affected. Each year, about 3,400 non-smoking adults succumb to lung cancer due to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke also accounts for about 42,000 deaths because of heart disease among people who are not current smokers.

Tobacco use is a major hurdle to good health. If you are using any form of tobacco product, consider breaking the habit now, not just for your sake, but also for the wellbeing of your loved ones and the people around you. Here are some practical ways to help you jumpstart a lifestyle free from tobacco use:

  • Strengthen your perspective – If you want to break free from tobacco, you need to set your heart and mind to it. It’s not going to be easy, but having strong determination will give you the courage to eliminate tobacco in your life.
  • Seek support – Sometimes, all it takes is a nudge or encouragement to help you kick tobacco use to the curb. Seek expert advice, and ask help from family and friends to make the journey less difficult.
  • Find easy ways to fight cravings – One of the things that make quitting tobacco difficult is dealing with urges or cravings. If you find yourself longing for a stick of cigarette, you can instead reach for a chewing gum, candy, or snacks like nuts. This way, you can keep your mouth busy and divert your attention away from your craving.


There’s no doubt that tobacco can have adverse effects to health, but it’s still widely used across the globe. During World No Tobacco Day, it’s time to shed light about the dangers of this substance and encourage people to quit using it or think twice before forming a tobacco habit.

READ: Lung Cancer Prevention: Five Practical Ways to Reduce Risk

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