Thursday, May 15, 2014

Countdown to May 31, 2014 - World No Tobacco Day

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Puff, puff, puff … If you think that no one smokes any more… consider the following figures from WHO (the World Health Organization).  
  • Almost 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low and middle income countries.
  • Tobacco claims the lives of almost 6 million people every year.
  • Tobacco kills more than half of its users. [WHO (1) Tobacco Fact Sheet].
 Or consider the following US figures from the National Cancer Institute (NCI):
  • Each year tobacco use claims 440,000 deaths.
  • At least 30 % of all cancer deaths are attributed to smoking, which makes quitting smoking a top priority for reducing the risks of cancer. [NCI, Tobacco Use]

And that’s not all… take a peek at the figures related to SHSsecond hand smoke
  •  There are an estimated 600,000 deaths worldwide related to second-hand smoke (SHS), that is, more than 1% of all deaths, including 165,000 children. [WHO (2), Burden of SHS]
Considering the above figures, WHO considers smoking a global epidemic, and organizes each year, on May 31, a No Tobacco Day. The UN/WHO No Tobacco Day is designed to raise awareness about tobacco-related health risks, and offer effective policies for reducing tobacco consumption.

And on a much smaller scale… for anyone trying to quit, May 31 is a great target date, per the NCI cessation programs. In other words, it’s a great day to quit, at least for 24 hours…in the company of millions worldwide, and of course, to continue quitting the next day too, and perhaps the day after…. and the day after…

And, in any event to never give up trying to quit… until the battle is won, even if it means setting another No Tobacco Day, or any number of additional No Tobacco Days.  According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse): 

“Tobacco addiction is a chronic disease that often requires multiple attempts to quit.” [NIH, Dug Facts]
In preparation of the big Q(uit) Day, the next posts are designed to offer a few patented solutions to quitting.

NCI – Tobacco Use
NIH – Drug Facts: Cigarettes and other tobacco products
WHO (1) Tobacco Fact Sheet No. 339 – Updated July 2013   
WHO (2) Worldwide burden of disease from exposure to second-hand smoke

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