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World No Tobacco Day --- May 31, 2011


Each year on May 31 the World Health Organization (WHO) observes World No Tobacco Day. Last year, the focus was on tobacco use among women. This year the focus is on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death. Worldwide, approximately 5 million persons will die from tobacco-related heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and other diseases this year. According to WHO, one tobacco smoke related death occurs every six seconds.

The WHO FCTC was adopted as a resolution at a resolution at WHO's 1996 World Health Assembly. The treaty, adopted by 172 countries, took effect in 2005 and is maintained by the United Nations.

The WHO FCTC is an evidence-based treaty. In contrast to previous drug control treaties, the WHO FCTC asserts the importance of demand reduction strategies as well as supply issues.

The core demand reduction strategies in the WHO FCTC include both price and tax measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, and non-price measures such as protection from exposure to tobacco smoke (work place and environment measures), education and public awareness campaigns, and changes in packaging and labeling of tobacco products (warnings on the packaging, etc).

The core supply reduction provisions in the WHO FCTC are aimed at illicit trade in tobacco products; sales to and by minors; and provision of support for economically viable alternative activities.

Tips on quitting smoking:

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1. Set a quit date.

2. Change your environment by removing ALL cigarettes and ashtrays from your home, car, and work place.

3. Don't cheat – not even one puff! But if you do, don't take that as surrender. Keep trying.

4. Seek support and encouragement, even if by phone. You can call toll free at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).

5. See your doctor and ask about nicotine gum and or patches.

With nicotine replacements and counseling, quit rates at one year are 15 percent to 30 percent which is nearly twice that of those who try without help.

Falling off the wagon is typical. Three months, six months and a year are major milestones, and most people who can quit for a year will be able to stay off cigarettes for good.

Related story:
World No Tobacco Day is May 31, Focus is on Women
Smoking: Become a Quitter
Massachusetts Proposes Use of Graphic Anti-Smoking Posters

World Health Organization
CDC MMRW, May 27, 2011