By: Lailuma Noori
“World No Tobacco Day” is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by WHO, along with World Health Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, World Malaria Day, World Hepatitis Day, and World AIDS Day.
In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be “a world no-smoking day”. The objective of the day was to urge tobacco users worldwide to abstain from using tobacco products for 24 hours, an action they hoped would provide assistance for those trying to quit.
In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed by the World Health Assembly, calling for the celebration of “World No Tobacco Day”, every year on 31 May. Since then, the WHO has supported World No Tobacco Day every year, linking each year to a different tobacco-related theme.
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May.
It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to more than 7 million deaths each year worldwide, including 890,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987. In the past twenty one years, the day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance around the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers, and the tobacco industry. This comes as using tobacco has been changed into a great challenge worldwide which negatively affects users’ health. Besides, WHO studies suggest that almost 6 mln people lose their lives annually due to usage of tobacco.
According to the findings, over 5 mln people on direct using of tobacco and over 600,000 on indirect using of tobacco lose their lives annually.
President Ghani passed ‘Tobacco Control Act’ in 5 chapters and 24 articles three years ago, as based on its article 10, smoking and using tobacco related products is banned in the government administrations, health centers, airports, universities, taxies, hotels and some other areas.
To decrease using tobacco in the country, the ministry of public health indorsed ‘Tobacco Control Act’, established a commission for the relevant law, increased 100 percent tax on importing tobacco products, imposed limitation on tobacco advertisements and launched campaigns to collect hookahs.
Concerns on widespread using of tobacco in Afghanistan rise while based on WHO, 6 mln people annually die due to using tobacco. Therefore, according to evaluations, if using tobacco is not prohibited worldwide, it will take the lives of 10 mln people by 2020.
To quit smoking or using other tobacco related products needs person’s firm will as he/she should also get aware of its harms to health.