Commentary - World No Tobacco Day – how you can act locallyDon’t just quit smoking, become a non-user - take the first step and give up tobacco for 24 hours! May 31 marks the 25th World No Tobacco Day. This day is set aside to help tobacco users abstain from tobacco use for at least 24 hours and of course the start of the journey of becoming a non-user.
By Amy Reineke
Douglas County Public Health
Don’t just quit smoking, become a non-user - take the first step and give up tobacco for 24 hours!
May 31 marks the 25th World No Tobacco Day. This day is set aside to help tobacco users abstain from tobacco use for at least 24 hours and of course the start of the journey of becoming a non-user.
Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80 percent will live in low and middle-income countries.
This year the World Health Organization (WHO) selected “tobacco industry interference” as the theme for World No Tobacco Day. The campaign focuses on the need to expose the tobacco industry because of the serious dangers they pose to public health around the world.
WHO is working with countries around the world to educate them on the harmful effects of tobacco. Here are some ways they are helping:
• Protect public health policies from commercial and other interests of the tobacco industry.
• Protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke.
• Warn people about the dangers of tobacco.
• Regulate the packaging and labeling of tobacco products.
• Offer people help to end their addiction to tobacco
• Ban cigarette sales to and by minors.
• Support economically viable alternatives to tobacco growing.
What can you do locally?
• Quit using tobacco.
• Support someone who is trying to quit.
• Talk to kids about the dangers of tobacco, talk to them about saying “no.”
• Don’t let tobacco be used in your home or car.
• If you are a renter, talk to your landlord about tobacco-free policies.
• Talk to your workplace about tobacco-free policies.
If more people give up tobacco this will be a major victory for health services worldwide. It will help prevent millions of unnecessary deaths and save a huge amount in health care costs. Not to mention, the next generation will be healthier.
There are resources to help you become a non-user.
Contact your physician, check your insurance/employer, or contact QuitPlan at 1-888-354-PLAN (7526) or www.quitplan.com.