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May 31 Is World No Tobacco Day

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

McHenry County Department of Health joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in recognizing May 31st as World No Tobacco Day – a day that highlights the death and disease caused by tobacco use worldwide.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death. More than 5 million people die from the effects of tobacco every year – more than from HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. According to the WHO, by 2030, if current trends continue, smoking will kill one in every six people around the world, not to mention the crushing financial toll that it takes.

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It is the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as the manufacturer intends. Up to half of all smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease. Second-hand smoke harms everyone who is exposed to it.

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is the message the WHO wants countries to adopt on tobacco products to ensure the public understands the serious health risks of tobacco use. This year’s World No Tobacco Day focuses on health warnings found on tobacco products and the need for packages to include graphic warnings.

The American Lung Association states that warning labels featuring graphic images have long been shown to encourage smokers to quit and reduce the appeal of tobacco products among kids – both of which are critical to reducing the deadly burden caused by tobacco use.

If you or someone you know is ready to quit smoking, call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline (1-866-QUIT-YES). Smoking cessation classes are also offered by McHenry County Health Department.