May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day, an annual awareness day is an initiative by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987. The event is intended to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and encourage governments to adopt effective policies to reduce smoking and the use of other tobacco products.
According to WHO, tobacco use kills more than 7 million people around the world each year, and that number is predicted to grow unless anti-tobacco actions are increased. In India almost 33 % of rural population and 20% of urban population are addicted to tobacco. Also the use of tobacco in India is the largest preventable cause of death and disease. It causes many types of cancer, as well as heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other health problems.
The exposure to tobacco would affect the health of people’s lungs and induce various related diseases, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), tuberculosis, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and lower respiratory infections, etc. The most effective measure to improve lung health is to reduce tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure. However, the potential of tobacco control for improving lung health is underestimated.
By adopting “Tobacco and lung health” as the theme of WNTD 2019, WHO encourages parties to organize campaign to increase the awareness on the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease, and on the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people. It also aims to advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and engage stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for tobacco control.
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