World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day Quick Facts - EU

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2024 Date31 May 2024
2025 Date31 May 2025

World No Tobacco Day

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World No Tobacco Day History

World No Tobacco Day serves as a reminder of the harmful effects and dangers associated with tobacco consumption. This initiative aims to increase awareness about the numerous health risks linked with smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. The observance also seeks to advocate for effective strategies to reduce tobacco usage and improve public health.

World No Tobacco Day was first observed in 1987. This observance is particularly significant, given that approximately 26% of the adult population in the EU smokes. Smoking is not only a major public health concern, but also contributes to increased health care costs and productivity losses. The EU has taken several measures to reduce tobacco consumption, such as the Tobacco Products Directive and the co-funding of anti-smoking campaigns.

Events held to mark World No Tobacco Day typically include informative workshops, awareness-raising campaigns, and policy discussions focusedon tobacco consumption. World No Tobacco Day is observed annually on the 31st of May.

World No Tobacco Day facts

  • According to the World Health Organization, nearly 80% of the world's 1 billion smokers live in low and middle income countries.
  • Arsenic, lead, and tar are just three of the 7,000 chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke.
  • Globally, the prevalence of tobacco smoking is higher among men, with around 32% of men being smokers compared to approximately 9% of women.
  • The EU mandates graphic health warnings covering 65% of the front and the back of cigarette packages, with text warnings on the sides.
  • In the European Union, 26% of the adult population smokes, with significant variations between countries. The highest prevalence rates are found in Greece (37%) and Bulgaria (36%), while Sweden has the lowest rate at 7%.

Top things to do in the EU for World No Tobacco Day

  • Educate youth and teenagers in your neighborhood about the negative effects of smoking and encourage them to quit if they have already picked up the habit. The best way to eradicate smoking is by educating the new generation of the negative effects of tobacco use.
  • Volunteer for the Freedom from Smoking program or another like program that helps smokers quit.
  • Watcha documentary about the threat that tobacco poses on European citizens. Here are our top picks:
    1. The Tobacco Conspiracy (2006) - This documentary explores the history and effects of tobacco consumption in Europe and the deceptive tactics used by the tobacco industry to promote smoking. It also discusses the role of scientists, politicians, and public health experts in this conspiracy.
    2. Smokefree Europe (2008) - This documentary focuses on the efforts of European countries to implement smoke-free policies and highlights the benefits of quitting smoking. It also discusses how tobacco companies have been targeting young people in the European Union.
    3. Towards a Tobacco Free Europe (2011) - This documentary follows the journey of a group of European health professionals as they work towards a tobacco-free Europe, exploring the solutions and challenges they face in their efforts to reduce tobacco use across the continent.
  • Read a book about the threat that tobacco poses on European citizens. Here are our suggestions:
    1. Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor - This book explores the global history of cigarettes and their devastating impact on human health, focusing on the rise of tobacco in Europe and the influence of the tobacco industry.
    2. Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization by Iain Gately - This book provides an interesting look at the history of tobacco, its introduction to Europe, and the various social and health issues associated with its use.
    3. Tobacco Control Policy in the European Union: The Example of the Netherlands by Albert Sindreu Fernández - This book explores the tobacco control policies in the European Union, with a focus on the Netherlands, offering insights into the dangers of tobacco use and policy measures to curb the issue.
    4. Understanding European Union Support for Tobacco Control Measures by Fiona Godfrey - This book investigates the role of the European Union in supporting stricter tobacco control measures, highlighting the challenges faced in addressing the health risks associated with tobacco consumption in the region.

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