World No Tobacco Day; “Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference”

BY | Friday, 31 May, 2024

The 31st  of May observes World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) annually, initiated by the World Health Organisation. WNTD plays a critical role in raising awareness on health risks associated with the use of tobacco which includes cancer, stroke, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses.

This year under the theme, Protecting children from tobacco industry interferenc,” World Health Organisation (WHO) is focused on advocating for an end to the targeting of youth with harmful tobacco products.

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Cigarette smoking is said to have decreased over the years due to phenomenal efforts by the tobacco control community, however, there is a rising concern of children with addiction over the use of e-cigarettes as the rates are said to be higher than adults on a global level as the estimation is that 37 million youth aged 13–15 years use tobacco. The industry’s predatory practices target youth for a lifetime of profits, creating a new wave of addiction.

Therefore, WHO provides the platform to youths across the world to raise awareness on the harmful practices of the tobacco industry. This platform also urges the government, policy makers and tobacco control advocates to protect them from being victimised by manipulative tobacco marketing tactics.

According to 2022 data, worldwide, at least 37 million young people aged 13–15 years use some form of tobacco. In the WHO European Region, 11.5% of boys and 10.1% of girls aged 13–15 years are tobacco users (4 million).

WNTD 2024, urges the governments and tobacco control community to protect the current and future generations and hold the tobacco industry liable.

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