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  • 7/9/2003

r="#c18d5d">31 May 2003

The world counts 1.2 billion smokers today and if current predictions come true, we may have an additional 400 million smokers by 2020. [WHO] aims to reverse that trend and prevent future generations from falling victim to tobacco. If we are very successful, we could bring that figure down to one billion by 2020.

World No Tobacco Day History

World No Tobacco Day is celebrated around the world every year on May 31. The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.

A bit of World No Tobacco Day history...
1987 Resolution WHA40.38 calls for 7 April 1988 to be "a world no-smoking day;"
1988 April 7, the theme is "tobacco or health;"
1989 Resolution WHA42.19 Tobacco or health, "RESOLVES that each year 31 May shall be World No-Tobacco Day".

Themes throughout the years...

1990 "Childhood and Youth without Tobacco: Growing up without Tobacco"
1991 "Public Places and Transport: Better Be Tobacco-Free"
1992 "Tobacco-Free Workplaces: Safer and Healthier"
1993 "Health Services: our window to a tobacco free world"
1994 "The media and tobacco: getting the message across"
1995 "Tobacco costs more than you think"
1996 "Sport and art without tobacco: play it tobacco free"
1997 "United for a tobacco free world"
1998 "Growing up without tobacco"
1999 "Leave the pack behind"
2000 "Tobacco kills don’t be duped"
2001 "Second hand smoke kills"
2002 "Tobacco free sports"
2003 "Tobacco free film, tobacco free fashion  Action!"

Tobacco use facts:

-every year, tobacco kills 3.5 million people around the world. In other words, about 10,000 people around the world die from tobacco every day.
-one million of these deaths currently occur in developing countries
-globally, nearly 47% of men and 12% of women smoke
-in developing countries, 48% of men and 7% of women smoke
-the global tobacco epidemic is predicted to prematurely claim the lives of some 250 million children and adolescents, a third of whom are in developing countries
-China predicts that of the 300 million males now aged 0-29, about 200 million will become smokers.
-Of these 200 million smokers, about 100 million will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases and half of these deaths will occur in middle-age and before age 70.
-It is predicted that by the year 2020, tobacco will become the leading cause of death and disability, killing more than 10 million people annually, thus causing more deaths than HIV, tuberculosis, maternal mortality, motor vehicle accidents, suicide, and homicide combined.
-A World Bank study, "The Economic Costs and Benefits of Investing in Tobacco," estimated that the health care costs associated with tobacco-related illnesses result in a global net loss of US$ 200 billion per year, half of those occurring in developing countries.
-The same World Bank study indicates that tobacco-use prevention programs rank among the most cost-effective of all health interventions.
-In a developing country with a per capita gross domestic product of US$ 2,000, effective smoking prevention costs approximately US$ 20 to US$ 40 per year of life gained. On the other hand, lung cancer treatment, which can prolong the lives of only about 10% of affected people, would cost US$ 18,000 per year of life gained.
-It is predicted that for every additional 1,000 tons of tobacco consumption, there will be an additional 650 deaths, for a net cost to the world economy of US$ 27.2 million dollars.
-Those who quit using tobacco make substantial savings through unbought tobacco products and lowered health care costs. For example, in the U.S., a 12-year old who invests the money he or she could spend in a lifetime pack-a-day habit in a money-market account (paying eight percent interest annually) instead, that person would save US$ 100,000 by age 39 and US$ 1 million by age 65.

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