Thursday 31st May is ‘World No Tobacco Day’. It is a day full of activities to make people aware of numerous smoking-related health problems such as cancer of the mouth, larynx, throat, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, bladder, kidney, and cervix, as well as stroke, heart attack and chronic lung disease. It is also an opportunity to have a no smoking day with tools available to help smokers quit smoking.
May 31st has been used to highlight the dangers of smoking since 1989 when the World Health Organization passed a resolution calling for this day to be annually known as World No Tobacco Day.
According to a report published by NICE (National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence) smoking is the main reason for the gap in healthy life expectancy between rich and poor. A report published in 1998 highlighted that those who smoke the most can afford it the least, and they also pass the habit on to their children. Smoking is therefore linked to a person's social circumstances — and these circumstances repeat themselves from one generation to the next.
A study by the University of Washington in 2005 found that parental behaviour is the main determining factor in whether or not children become smokers, and once they start smoking it's difficult for them to stop. According to the American Heart Association, nicotine addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break. So it is vitally important to prevent young people from experimenting with tobacco in the first place.
World No Tobacco Day 2012 is a good time for smokers to make the decision to quit. If they do, their health, the health of their children, their life expectancy and their bank balance will all benefit!