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June 01, 2014

World No Tobacco Day

The ultimate goal of  World No Tobacco Day  (May 31) is to  protect present and future generations from the devastating health consequences due to tobacco.  The social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke are so terrible that every day ought to be No Tobacco Day.




Each year, the global tobacco epidemic kills 6 million people. At least 600 000 of these are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Unless we act, the epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. More than 80% of deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries like India. Tragically, these are preventable deaths - which means that with adequate preventive measures -such as awareness, ban on ads, sales, higher taxes and smoking in public places - these people need not suffer and die.

To know more about the  deadly effects of tobacco, check out  Cancer Sticks and WHO Facts.


The Obstacles

There are two extremely powerful forces which stand in the way of eliminating the use of tobacco.The first is money - tobacco is a multi-billion dollar industry. Historically, the tobacco industry has employed a multitude of tactics to shape and influence tobacco control policy.



They use their huge economic power, lobbying and marketing machinery, and manipulation of the media to discredit scientific research and influence governments in order to propagate the sale and distribution of their deadly products. The second obstacle is the addictive nature of tobacco and you - once you're hooked, you're hooked!


Win-Win Strategy

For World No Tobacco Day 2014, WHO and partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco. Increasing excise taxes on tobacco is considered to be the most cost-effective tobacco control measure. This week, the Government of India have announced that  fresh excise tax measures will  be  implemented (Currently, India's annual excise revenue from tobacco products is Rs120 billion). Because it will also raise government tax revenues which can be allocated to more public health care, it is a win-win strategy all the way.


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