• Kim Bresseleers

May 31, 2020 World No Tobacco Day

Every year, on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day.

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.

The World No Tobacco Day 2020 global campaign will serve to:

  • Debunk myths and expose manipulation tactics employed by the tobacco and related industries, particularly marketing tactics targeted at youth, including through the introduction of new and novel products, flavors and other attractive features.

  • Equip young people with knowledge about the tobacco and related industries’ intentions and tactics to hook current and future generations on tobacco and nicotine products.

  • Empower influencers (in pop culture, on social media, in the home, or in the classroom) to protect and defend youth and catalyze change by engaging them in the fight against Big Tobacco.


  • Tobacco products kill more than 8 million people every year and more than 1 million people die from second-hand smoke exposure every year.

  • Tobacco use is responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths globally.

  • E-cigarette use increases your risk of heart disease and lung disorders.

  • Smoking is expensive, and you pay for it with your looks and your health. It causes bad breath, yellow teeth, wrinkly skin, unhealthy lungs and a poor immune system.

  • Tobacco companies spent over 9 billion USD in marketing and advertising.

Why should you quit smoking and how can you do it?

Tobacco smoking has both health and non-health related impacts to you and those around you.

  • Health risks of smoking to the smoker: Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. Smokers also have a higher risk of getting corona virus.

  • Health risks to the family: Second hand smoke exposure puts members of your household at an increased risk for several diseases.

  • The cost of smoking to the smoker and the smoker's family: It is estimated that 5-15% of a smoker’s disposable income is spent on tobacco.

  • Social consequences of smoking to the smoker and the smoker's family: There is a stigma attached to smoking (for example, people may think the smoker is smelly, disgusting/dirty, unhealthy…).

Even though quitting tobacco is a difficult task, the good news is that there are great benefits, with both immediate and long term gains.

  • Health benefits: Quitting has immediate and long term benefits. Quitting adds years of life.

  • Economic benefits: Quitting smoking can put more money in your pocket! The quit & save exercise can help you understand how much money you can save if you quit.

  • Social benefits: You will improve your relationships with your family, friends and employer. When you quit smoking, your children become less likely to start smoking and more likely to quit if they already smoke.

If you decide to quit smoking, you are choosing to make a positive change for yourself!

Quitting starts with the first action you take: developing a quit plan.

  • Set a quit date.

  • Tell your friends, family and coworkers and ask them for support and understanding.

  • Anticipate challenges to the upcoming quit attempt.

  • Remove tobacco products from your environment.

Always remember that you can be successful. You will be able to quit, as long as you keep your goals in sight, your head held high, and your “eye on the prize”!

Quit today and start living a healthier life!

Based on information from World Health Organization (WHO) - https://www.who.int

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