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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quit Smoking on World No Tobacco Day - May 31st

May 31 is observed as No Tobacco Day, and to commemorate this day, World Health Organisation has selected "The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control" as its theme this year. The guidelines provided in this convention will provide the foundation for countries to implement and manage tobacco control. 

Did you know that around 6 million people die from the use and exposure to tobacco smoke (that includes passive smoking as well), which relates to almost one death every six seconds. Apart from this, 63% of deaths have been attributed to Noncommunicable diseases (NCD), for which tobbacco use is the greatest risk factor, after high blood pressure. 

"Each year, over 430,000 people die as a result of a smoking-related disease. Yet, over 50 million continue to smoke, including over 3 million teens. An estimated three thousand teenagers begin to smoke each day, and one thousand of them will eventually die as a result. According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoking leads to 87% of lung cancers, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Healthcare and lost productivity costs of $97.2 billion dollars per years arise from smoking related illnesses. Cigarettes contain over 19 known cancer-causing chemicals in addition to nicotine." Read More on "How smoking harms your body."

Adverse Effects of Tobacco Smoking on Body
Image Courtsey: Wikimedia Commons

The use of tobbacco or nicotine can have very harmful effects on the body. It is very important to understand these harmful effects and to increase the awareness in the general population, therefore the day of May 31 2011 is being observed as "No smoking day or No tobacco day." Tobacco products are dose-dependent and depend more on abuse rather than simple use. More importantly, the nicotine that is found in substantial amounts in tobacco products can be attributed to cause the addiction among smokers to such an extent that its addictive potential has been equated with heroine, morphine and cocaine.

Nicotine is rapidly absorbed through the lungs of a smoker and also readily absorbed through the oral mucosa under the alkaline conditions normally found in cigar, pipe and smokeless tobacco use, a fact which is less publicized. Once the nicotine enters the blood stream, it acts upon the central nervous and cardiovascular systems regardless of the method of its absortion. Of course, the smoking and chewing of tobbaco can cause cancer of the oral mucosa, is a wide known fact.

It goes without saying that the use of tobacco can harm every part of your body adversely. It damages the heart and the circulatory system, lungs, oral mucosa that includes the teeth and the gums, causes ulcers of the digestive system, affects bones causing osteoporosis and can also damage the kidneys indirectly due to the high blood pressure caused due to smoking.

Symbol of World No Tobacco Day - Fresh Flowers in an Ashtray.
The symbol for "No Tobacco Day" is a Rose in an Ashtray".
(Image Courtsey:

In women, excessive smoking can affect the reproductive system wherein their fertility is compromised and menopause occurs one to two years earlier. It also increases the risk of cervical cancer. Even more serious are the risks to an unborn child if the mother smokes during pregnancy, as it increases the chances of miscarriage. The infants born to mothers who smoke are at risk of low borth weight, prematurity, cleft lip and palate, infections and SIDS. The reproductive system of men also gets affected causing decreased sperm count and in some cases also impotency.
"No Tobacco Day" will be welcomed in many different ways in all the countries in order to create awareness and urge people to quit smoking. Releasing posters, flyers and organising walks, events and talks are some of the ways that this will be accomplished.

Here are some useful links and resources for more information:

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