World No Tobacco Day tomorrow

Islamabad—Several public and private organizations have planned a series of activities to mark World No Tobacco Day on May 31 to draw attention of the public to this important health problem. This year’s theme is “get ready for plain packaging”. On the occasion World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling on countries to get ready for plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products.
Plain packaging refers to measures to restrict or prohibit the use of logos, colours, brand images or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard colour and font style.
According to WHO, tobacco kills around six million people each year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
It added nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.
Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.
In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income. These children are especially vulnerable to green tobacco sickness, which is caused by the nicotine that is absorbed through the skin from the handling of wet tobacco leaves.
WHO said the illicit trade in tobacco products poses major health, economic and security concerns around the world. It is estimated that one in every 10 cigarettes and tobacco products consumed globally is illicit.
It added tobacco taxes are the most cost-effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among young and poor people. A tax increase that increases tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and about 5% in low- and middle-income countries.—APP

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