World No Tobacco Day 2011

The global fight to end the destruction of lives from tobacco is something I can get behind. Today is World No Tobacco Day – a global initiative from the World Health Organization.

Some statistics that many public health professionals are aware of but always a good reminder:

  • The tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of whom:
    • more than 5 million are users and ex users
    • more than 600 000 are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke
  • Smokers are more susceptible to certain communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia
  • After high blood pressure, tobacco use is the biggest contributor to the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases — such as heart attack, stroke, cancer and emphysema — which accounts for 63% of deaths
  • No consumer product kills as many people and as needlessly as does tobacco. It killed 100 million people in the 20th century. Unless we act, it could kill up to 1 billion people in the 21st. All of these deaths will have been entirely preventable

Here is the 2011 PSA for World Tobacco Day:

Some interesting news recently popped up about the dangers of hookah – which some young people seem to think isn’t as bad as smoking cigarettes.

For some more interactive content throughout the day, check out the #WNTD hashtag on Twitter to keep up with the conversation, links and more.

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