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World No Tobacco Day

  • 31 May 2019
  • 3 min read

Every year, on 31st May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.

Focus of WNTD

The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is on "Tobacco and Lung Health." The campaign will increase awareness on:

  • Negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease,
  • The fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being

Functions of lungs

In addition to gas exchange, respiratory system performs other roles important to breathing. These include:

  • Bringing air to the proper body temperature and moisturizing it to the right humidity level.
  • Protecting the body from harmful substances through coughing, sneezing, filtering or swallowing them.
  • Supporting sense of smell.

Disease caused by tobacco use

  • Lung Cancer
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Asthma
  • Reproductive Effects in Women
  • Premature, Low Birth-Weight Babies
  • Diabetes
  • Blindness, Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Vulnerability to over 10 types of cancer, including colon, cervix, liver, stomach and pancreatic Cancer

Chemicals in tobacco

Tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of chemicals, including at least 70 known to cause cancer.

Some of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke include:

  • Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effect people are looking for and one of the harshest chemicals in tobacco smoke)
  • Hydrogen cyanide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Ammonia
  • Radioactive elements, such as uranium
  • Benzene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nitrosamines
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

WHO award for Rajasthan Health Department in tobacco check

The World Health Organization has selected the Rajasthan government’s Medical & Health Department for its award this year in recognition of its achievements in the field of tobacco control.

The Medical & Health Department launched several campaigns against tobacco consumption at places such as schools, colleges, police stations and government offices during 2018-19.

Status of tobacco uses in India

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