World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day Quick Facts - GB

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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 is an event that seeks to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and the importance of advocating for policies to reduce consumption. Several programs are organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to highlight the harmful effects of smoking and second-hand smoke exposure, as well as the measures that can be taken to combat this public health issue.

The first World No Tobacco Day was held in 1987, stemming from the WHO's World Health Assembly's resolution in 1986 to focus on the global tobacco epidemic. With approximately 78,000 smoking-related deaths each year, an estimated 1 in 4 cancer cases across the UK are attributed to tobacco use. Smoking is identified as the leading preventable cause of illness, disability and premature death in the UK.

To mark the observance of World No Tobacco Day in the United Kingdom, events such as public awareness campaigns, educational programs in schools, and support groups for quitting smoking are organized. National health charities and local NHS trusts often work together to ensure a wide-reaching impact beyond World No Tobacco Day itself. Observed annually on the 31st of May, this event presents an ideal opportunity for British citizens to commit to a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle and create broader positive changes within society.

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.
  • Smoking rates have declined significantly in the UK over the past few decades. According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2021, 13.0% of the adult population in the UK were smokers, down from 20.2% in 2011.
  • Every year, around 78,000 deaths in the UK are attributed to smoking, making it the leading cause of preventable deaths in the country.

Top things to do in the UK 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.
  • Watch a documentary about the dangers of tobacco consumption in United Kingdom. Here are our top picks:
    1. Yes, I Smoke: A Short Documentary On Smoking in Britain (2020) - This student documentary explores smoking culture in Britain, why people choose to smoke despite the known dangers, and the challenges facing those who want to quit.
    2. SmokeScreen (2019) - This short documentary produced by the Royal Society for Public Health highlights the dangers of smoking in the UK and the ongoing efforts to encourage people to quit.
    3. Panorama: Smoke and Mirrors (2015) - This BBC investigative documentary looks at the tactics used by the tobacco industry to undermine public health campaigns in the UK.
  • Participate in a quit smoking challenges today. UK citizens are encouraged to pledge to quit tobacco use for a duration of time and sharing their progress with others.

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