May 31 is World Tobacco Day

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Do you know what the leading cause of preventable death is around the world? It is tobacco smoking. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) — Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, “Worldwide, more than 8 million people a year will die from diseases related to tobacco use by 2030, if the pattern of smoking doesn’t change.” Please join the Center for Prevention and Counseling and WHO in recognizing May 31, 2019, as World No Tobacco Day. This annual event focuses on raising awareness about the harmful effects of using tobacco, the dangers of second/third hand smoke and preventing the use of tobacco products.

The 2019 campaign will highlight the relationship between tobacco and lung health, while emphasizing the negative health outcomes from tobacco use. Exposure to tobacco smoke is known to cause lung illnesses, such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, lower respiratory infections and has even been linked to tuberculosis deaths. Tobacco smoke is particularly harmful to infants and children who are exposed either in-utero or through their environment. The WHO stated that throughout the world, an estimated 165,000 children die under the age of five from lower respiratory infections as a result of second-hand smoke.

The goals of World No Tobacco Day 2019 are to globally increase knowledge about the dangers of tobacco use on lung health and the illnesses it causes and to reduce tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. It also serves a means to raise awareness about the importance of lung health to attain overall health and well-being.

Finally, the World No Tobacco Day campaign acts as a call to action for key audiences, including the public and governments, to become involved in making a change. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about ways countries can create, implement and enforce effective tobacco control policies to reduce tobacco use. Everyone can get involved to advocate for actions that can be taken to reduce the risks to lung health posed by tobacco.

For more information about World No Tobacco Day Campaign, please visit the World Health Organization’s website at

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