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World No Tobacco Day on 31st May: Theme, History and Harmful Effects of Tobacco

The main motive of observing World No Tobacco Day to spread awareness among everyone in the world about the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure.

Every year, on 31 May, World Health Organization (WHO) and its global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day to spread awareness among everyone in the world about the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. India is the 2nd largest consumer of tobacco in the world and approximately one-sixth of the world’s tobacco-related deaths occur in India. It is really important to raise awareness about the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use in India. As per WHO’s report around 120 million people in India consume tobacco and one million die due to its consumption of it.

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World Health Organization on 15th May, 1987 passed a resolution, calling for April 7, 1988, to be the first World No Smoking Day. This date was chosen as it was the 40th anniversary of the World Health Organization. Then on May 17, 1989, the World Health Organization passed a resolution calling for May 31 to be annually known as World No Tobacco Day. World No Tobacco Day has been observed every year on 31st May since 1989.


World No Tobacco Day celebrated every year with theme to spread awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco. The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day is “protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use”. Consumption of tobacco is very harmful for human body, several studies indicate that it increases the risks of stroke, blindness, back pain, vascular diseases, heart diseases, hormonal imbalance and disorders, skin diseases

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Harmful Effects of Tobacco

  • Using any tobacco product is harmful. Inhaling tobacco smoke exposes users to more than 7000 toxicants and at least 70 carcinogens, this damaging the whole body.
  • A regular smoker typically loses more than a decade of life.
  • Tobacco contains the chemical nicotine, which is a very addictive substance.
  • Tobacco cigarette smoke contains 7,000+harmful  chemicals, out of those at least 70 of which are known to cause cancer.
  • Smokeless tobacco, including nicotine, contains at least 30 chemicals that are known to cause cancer.
  • Combustible tobacco is extremely harmful to health and it is responsible for over 90% of tobacco-related deaths and disease.

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