World No Tobacco Day 2021: World Tobacco Prohibition Day 2021 is an annual event celebrated on 31 May to raise public awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco on health. This campaign also urges people to have a healthy lifestyle in the time of COVID-19 pandemic.
In 1988, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization passed a resolution WHA42.19, which called for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day.
The WHO said that, “More than 70 percent of the 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide do not have access to the tools they need to successfully quit. This gap in access to final services has only widened in the last year as the health workforce has been mobilized to handle the pandemic.”
According to 2018 research published in the journal SAGE, India is the second largest consumer of tobacco. Not only this, according to WHO, 8 million people die every year due to the adverse effects of tobacco.
History of World No Tobacco Day
The World Health Assembly of the WHO passed a resolution WHA42.19 on 7 April 1988, calling for the day to be celebrated. The purpose of observing this campaign was to “draw the world’s attention to the tobacco epidemic and the disease and preventable death it causes”. Since then this day is celebrated to appeal to the people to quit tobacco.
World No Tobacco Day 2021 Theme
This year’s theme is “Committed to Quit”. This campaign encourages people to quit tobacco for a healthy life. Many exhibitions and programs are organized to create awareness through WHO to make people understand its harmful effects. However, like last year, this year also, there will be no public campaign due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But people can organize a virtual event in which they can educate people through sports or real-life stories.
Harmful effects of tobacco
Tobacco can cause many serious diseases, such as lung diseases, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) etc. Not only this, it can also cause lung cancer and oral cancer. According to data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), tobacco accounts for about 30 per cent of all cancers in India.