On World No Tobacco Day, the WHO wants to help 100 million global citizens kick the tobacco habit
© Dave Martin/AP Antismoking advocates are warning that the stress and disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic may have slowed efforts to get more people to quit in the past year.
May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, established in 1987 to increase awareness about the dangers of tobacco use. The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco use kills 8 million people annually. It’s a major contributor to health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, stroke, diabetes, low birth weight and blindness.
World No Tobacco Day this year focuses on urging tobacco users to quit — 100 million users, in fact. Stressing health research that shows tobacco use is associated with higher rates of severe outcomes and mortality from covid-19, the WHO wants millions around the world to kick the tobacco habit. Here’s what you need to know about the global treaty on tobacco control and its effectiveness.
182 countries have joined the WHO’s tobacco control effort
Tobacco cessation programs are one aspect of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first global public health treaty negotiated under the WHO’s auspices. Treaty negotiations began in 1996, after a decline in tobacco use in high-income countries by the mid-1990s created political space for action. The leadership of WHO Director General Gro Harlem Brundtland was crucial, as were regionally coordinated negotiating positions, media and civil society campaigns, and participation from other U.N. bodies.
In 2003, the World Health Assembly approved the FCTC, and it took effect in 2005. Today, 182 countries have joined in, although the United States is notably absent.
The treaty requires countries to pass evidence-based policies to curtail tobacco use. The acronym MPOWER sums these up: Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help in quitting tobacco use; Warn about the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and Raise taxes on tobacco.
Studies have shown the effectiveness of these policies for decreasing tobacco use. But experts also call for stronger policy implementation and enforcement, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where 80 percent of tobacco users live. There is progress on some policies — advertising bans, for example — but stagnation on others, such as tobacco company sponsorship and smoke-free environments.
Implementing tobacco control efforts hasn’t been easy in Africa
Policy implementation has been highly uneven in sub-Saharan Africa, even though several African countries led the process for FCTC approval. In the past 35 years, tobacco use in the region has risen 50 percent, and tobacco-related deaths are also increasing.Don’t miss any of TMC’s smart analysis! Sign up for our newsletter.
My research illustrates some of the policy challenges in Africa. I conducted 22 interviews with African health advocates between 2014 and 2017, and analyzed news stories on tobacco from Ghana and Tanzania.
Many countries lack sufficient capacity to implement these policies. Health ministries often have only one or two staff members dedicated to tobacco control. Compliance with the FCTC guidelines requires government lawyers to write and interpret tobacco-control regulations — and police must then enforce sales restrictions. Health officials viewed strengthening civil society groups to be essential to get societal buy-in, so the public understands why compliance matters. Increasingly linked to trade and tax policies, tobacco control requires advocates to become versed in economics and finance.
Global advocacy on tobacco control has benefited from a consensus on policy solutions, as well as expanded reach into low- and middle-income countries. Global campaigns have stressed the detrimental health outcomes associated with tobacco use.
But the majority of Africans still die of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, AIDS and pneumonia. One Ghanaian expert said, “When you go to the village, people are dying from malaria, HIV. … But hypertension [from smoking]? Those people are walking around.” Because health outcomes from tobacco use do not emerge for years, advocates must urge politicians to be proactive.
African health advocacy groups often lack resources, personnel and information to be effective. Tobacco control advocates’ financial reliance on donors such as Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Gates Foundation means that they may stress scientific arguments. But, as advocates pointed out, sometimes this evidence-based issue framing does not resonate with the population.
The dearth of data about tobacco’s health impacts in Africa makes some people question the urgency of prevention campaigns. And reliance on studies conducted in high-income countries that demonstrate tobacco’s harmful effects leads some people to view the issue as a “First World problem.”
Context matters, the research shows
My interviewees stressed the need to talk about tobacco control in ways that match local priorities. These priorities can sometimes get lost in global tobacco control advocacy circles, where activists from low-income countries are underrepresented.Professors: Check out TMC’s expanding list of classroom topic guides.
African advocates stress not just lives lost, but also the cost to economic development. They point to tobacco taxes as a potential revenue source, and for tobacco-producing countries, they highlight the long-term environmental cost of tobacco farming. Increasingly, human rights advocates point to the poverty of tobacco growers, the dangers of secondhand smoke to children’s health and the use of child labor in tobacco farming.
Context matters in others ways. Tobacco use rates vary widely across African countries — but there’s an association between poverty and tobacco use. In Ghana, smoking rates are highest among men with low income and low education, a pattern found in other African countries. The socioeconomic and political marginalization of these populations may make it easier for officials to play down the need for tobacco control to improve health.
Stigma against tobacco use deepens this marginalization. African young women, whose tobacco use rates have increased, may be judged negatively if they smoke. Although people with strong religiosity are less likely to use tobacco, my informants reported that deeply religious smokers were also more likely to hide their habit, even from health-care providers.
Stigma may discourage smokers from seeking help, and lead policymakers to distance themselves from the tobacco issue. In their campaigns, local advocates often struggled to address these dynamics in tobacco use across demographic groups.
Pandemic stress may have boosted tobacco use, ironically
The coronavirus pandemic may challenge tobacco control efforts. Although data are limited, stress and isolation may be contributing to increased cigarette use in the United States. And tobacco cessation advocates could face more competition for resources and policymakers’ attention. But the pandemic has shown how infectious-disease outbreaks interact with noncommunicable diseases to increase illness and death. Preventing these outcomes through implementation of tobacco control policies matters as countries seek to recover from the pandemic, and address future global health challenges.
Amy S. Patterson (@aspatter_amy) is professor of politics at University of the South, and author of Africa and Global Health Governance: Domestic Politics and International Structures (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). She studies community mobilization, citizenship and health policy priorities, with a focus on Africa.
World No Tobacco Day 2021 Quotes: 12 Motivational Sayings To Quit Smoking
World No Tobacco Day is marked annually on May 31 to urge people to stop chewing or smoking the substance.
This day is aimed at bringing attention to tobacco’s negative health effects, which can cause cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, and strokes.
As the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, those who are habitual smokers are at great risk. The World Health Organization has been working on a campaign to support those millions of tobacco users who are actively taking steps to save their lives.
“Smokers have up to a 50% higher risk of developing severe disease and death from COVID-19, so quitting is best thing smokers can do to lower their risk from this coronavirus, as well as the risk of developing cancers, heart disease and respiratory illnesses,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said. “We urge all countries to play their part by joining the WHO campaign and creating tobacco-free environments that give people the information, support and tools they need to quit, and quit for good.”
According to the WHO, roughly 39% of men and 9% of women across the globe use tobacco. The highest smoking rates are currently found in Europe at 26%.
Here are some motivational sayings from Brainy Quote, highlighting the effects of tobacco and the benefits of quitting today:
1. “The true face of smoking is disease, death, and horror – not the glamour and sophistication the pushers in the tobacco industry try to portray.” — David Byrne
2. “Tobacco is the only industry that produces products to make huge profits and at the same time damage the health and kill their consumers.” — Margaret Chan
3. “The culture is about moving to a place where tobacco and smoking isn’t part of normal life: people don’t encounter it normally, they don’t see it in their big supermarkets, they don’t see people smoking in public places, they don’t see tobacco vending machines.” — Andrew Lansley
4. “I’ve chosen to get the word out to women, especially young women, that tobacco is not glamorous – it’s addictive and smoking takes a serious toll on your health.” — Mena Suvari
5. “Cigars, cigarettes, and hookah tobacco are all smoked tobacco — addictive and deadly. We need effective action to protect our kids from struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine.” — Tom Frieden
6. “Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that weaken the body’s immune system, making it more susceptible to disease and handicapping its ability to destroy cancer cells.” — Michael Greger
7. “Each of us should think of the future. Every puff on a cigarette is another tick closer to a time bomb of terrible consequences. Christopher Hitchens didn’t care about the consequences of smoking cigarettes. Tragically, he died of throat cancer in December 2011.” — Ray Comfort
8. “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire, which transcends everything.” — Napoleon Hill
9. “It takes a lot of dedication to quit smoking, and whether you give up for good on your first try or have to give it a couple of tries – just keep swinging at it and you will succeed.” — Harmon Killebrew
10. Take your life back from the tobacco companies. They don’t own you anymore. – Duane Alan Hahn
11. “There is no question that tobacco is addictive and that tobacco kills.” — Dick Durbin
12. “The tobacco companies knew quite early on the addictive nature of their product.” — Neil Cavuto
The World Health Organization says that since smoking impairs lung function, smokers are likely at higher risk of developing severe cases of Covid-19 .
World No Tobacco Day 2021: Inspiring Quotes to spread awareness on “Commit to Quit”
Every year, World No Tobacco Day is observed in order to spread awareness of the dangers related to using tobacco. People around the world want to get rid of this tobacco pandemic and claim their right to health and healthy living in order to protect their future generations. So, the World Health Organization created World Tobacco day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. In 1988, the world health assembly passed a resolution calling for the celebration of World No tobacco day, every year on 31 May.
The awareness on the World No Tobacco Day 2021 is on “commit to quit”, which is asking millions of tobacco users to quit tobacco in the Covid-19 pandemic and sign a pledge to commit to quit today. Here are some inspiring quotes on the quitting of tobacco campaign 2021.World No Tobacco Day Quotes 2021″Replacing the smoke on your face with a smile today will replace illness in your life with happiness tomorrow. Quit now. Eliminate tobacco from your life before it kills you! We need to burn calories daily, not tobacco!””What we need to burn on a daily basis are calories and not tobacco. Stay healthy and happy with no tobacco.””Let us make sure that tobacco is not able to take any more lives by making this world free from it.””The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.. Take the first step towards your goal by saying no to tobacco.””Cancer is caused by tobacco and it is a disease that gives a person a death sentence in the majority of cases.””Tobacco kills more people than any other addiction and it’s time we educate people young and old people alike, to stay away from tobacco.””It may be difficult to quit smoking at first, but it is not impossible.”” It is never easy to quit an addiction and we salute those ex-smokers who have managed to get past their habit.””The only thing that tobacco brings along with it is a disease which later converts into death and despair for your loved one. Save yourself and your family from a disaster like this by quitting tobacco.””If you love your family, then say no to smoking and tobacco.” “Make this No Tobacco Day more meaningful by keeping it away from your life.” Kissing A Smoker Is Like Licking An Ashtray. “A healthy heart and a happy smile come to your life when you leave smoking.”