World No Tobacco Day: 5 Fast Facts About Tobacco

31 May 2016, Dubai, UAE: The World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is celebrated each year on May 31 to highlight the health risks linked with the use of tobacco and to focus international awareness, resources and action on the global tobacco epidemic.

SEE ALSO: Smoking Bullies Good Bacteria

Here are 5 important facts that you should know about tobacco:
(Source: World Health Organization)

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • Tobacco kills around 6 million people each year. More than 5 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.
  • Nearly 80% of the world’s 1 billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Secondhand smoke kills. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
  • There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.

This year’s WNTD theme is Get Ready for Plain Packaging. The WHO calls on policymakers around the world to get ready for plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products, a measure that restrict the use of logos, colors, brand images or promotional information on tobacco packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard color and font style.

According to WHO, plain packaging is an important demand reduction measure that reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products, restricts use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion, limits misleading packaging and labelling, and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.

To learn more about the WNTD celebration, please visit the WHO website.

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