World No Tobacco Day is an annual event that is observed on May 31st. It aims to spread awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco on health. The campaign also tries to reduce the prevalence of the diseases and deaths due to the consumption of tobacco. This year, the theme of the World no Tobacco Day is “Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.” Also Read - Better Late Than Never! Maharashtra, Karnataka Make Chewing, Spitting Tobacco Punishable Offence
Significance of World No Tobacco Day Also Read - Can Tobacco Leaves Cure COVID-19?
According to the WHO, 8 million people die as a result of tobacco use every year. It is the main culprit behind lung diseases and other respiratory disorders including tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) etc. Tobacco consumption leads to oral and lung cancers. Notably, oral cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in India. As per the data of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), tobacco accounts for approximately 30 per cent of all cancers in India. Also Read - US Shops Sell Tobacco Without Checking Age Making it Easier For Underage Users to Buy it, Reveals Study
History of World No Tobacco Day
The World Health Organisation passed a resolution in 1987 that announced April 7th 1988 as ‘World No Smoking Day’. This was done to motivate people to prevent using tobacco for at least 24 hours. The aim behind this was to help those who are struggling to quit the use of tobacco. Later in the year 1988, this international organisation passed another resolution that observed May 31st as the ‘World No Tobacco day.’ In fact, in 2008, the WHO banned any kind of advertisement or promotion about tobacco, thinking that probably the ads attract youth to indulge in smoking.
Measures Taken by India to Control Use of Tobacco
You will be surprised to know that India is the second-largest consumer of tobacco. This is what a 2018 research published in the SAGE Journal states. In 1975, India passed the Cigarettes Act, according to which companies needed to display a statutory warning on cigarette packs and in advertisements too. In 1988, smoking in public vehicle was declared illegal. In 1992, the Indian government banned the sale of toothpaste and tooth powder containing tobacco. In 2003, Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) came into existence. According to this act, a display of pictorial warning on tobacco products is mandatory. Also, it completely banned direct or indirect advertisements of tobacco products and smoking in public places. Various other major steps have also been taken since then but the result doesn’t seem to be satisfactory.