World No Tobacco Day 2018
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World No Tobacco Day 2018

Today is World No Tobacco Day 2018. Tobacco is the second leading cause of death around the world. It disproportionately affects those in developing countries. To break this cycle, the World Health Organization (WHO), along with a number of health organizations and NGOs, works towards the reduction of tobacco consumption and more regulation on tobacco production and sales. May 31st marks an important date for these efforts as the world celebrates World No Tobacco Day. This year’s central theme for the World No Tobacco Day is “Tobacco Breaks Hearts – Choose Health, Not Tobacco.”

Why Is World No Tobacco Day Important?  

According to the WHO, tobacco kills over 7 million people every year. In fact, it’s the second leading cause of death around the world. However, many of these deaths can be prevented by taking active steps to reduce tobacco consumption in key populations. This includes policies on production, advertisement, sales, and use of tobacco.

As such, World No Tobacco Day places a strong focus on raising awareness on the potential consequences of smoking tobacco among the general public. It is also a day to encourage governments to take meaningful steps to reduce tobacco consumption. World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated since 1987 when WHO member states created the day as the result of increasing evidence of the negative effects of tobacco on the public. Each year, the day focuses on a specific theme highlighting integral topics around tobacco and its consumption. These have included “Tobacco-free Youth” in 2008, “Gender and Tobacco” in 2010, and “Smoke-free Inside” in 2007.

Tobacco Breaks Hearts  

This year, World No Tobacco Day centers on cardiovascular disease. The theme for 2018 is “Tobacco Breaks Hearts – Choose Health.” The WHO estimates that 12% of all heart disease deaths are related to tobacco use. Despite this, many tobacco users are unaware of the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases. As such, the WHO and its partners are looking to raise awareness on the issue and promote better heart health. World No Tobacco Day helps to raise awareness.

Helpful Resources for World No Tobacco Day

The organization has put together a number of resources, including infographics, fact sheets, campaign materials, posters, and more. Additionally, there is a powerful video on how tobacco can affect heart health. For those looking to quit smoking, the CDC has put together a list of helpful resources, which it is featuring as part of their World No Tobacco Day campaign.

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NGOs Working to Reduce Tobacco Consumption

Many organizations around the world realize the importance of reducing tobacco consumption around the world. Not only is it harmful to those who smoke tobacco, but it can also affect those who don’t through secondary smoke. Besides threatening lives, it is a huge burden on healthcare systems, particularly in developing economies. Here are just a few NGOs doing amazing work to reduce tobacco consumption and promote tobacco control.

1. Australian Council on Smoking and Health (ACOSH)

A member organization, ACOSH works with health organizations, civil society, and the government in order to reduce tobacco use. It conducts research, lobbies for prevention laws, supports smokers who are trying to quit, works on prevention campaigns, and much more.

2. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

With its catchy acronym, ASH has one main mission—to build a world where people don’t die from the use of tobacco. In order to accomplish this, they work on improving public education regarding tobacco and its impact on health. ASH also works extensively to influence tobacco-related policies and reduce cigarette production and sales.

3. International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)

The main objective of The Union is to promote lung health around the world. As such, they work extensively in tobacco control, currently supporting 61 countries in decreasing tobacco consumption.

4. Nicotine Anonymous

Are you looking to quit smoking? Then Nicotine Anonymous is the right place. This not-for-profit provides a 12-step program to quit smoking and stay tobacco-free. It is also a supportive community for those struggling to quit.

5. Tobacco Prevention and Cessation

A free online journal, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation is home to various resources on the effects of tobacco, as well as how to prevent and stop its use.

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