World No Tobacco Day is May 31st, 2009
May 21, 2009
PRESS RELEASE 05/21/2009 | For Immediate Release
Fight Tobacco Usage with Health Warnings
by Arjumand Thompson
Dear Subscribers -
May 31st marks World No Tobacco Day, a day set aside to recognize tobacco control initiatives and redouble efforts to curb tobacco use and addiction. This 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated World No Tobacco Day as an occasion to encourage the use of "Tobacco Health Warnings". Tobacco Health Warnings are picture warnings added to tobacco-based products which boldly advertise the dangers of smoking and tobacco use. These graphic images are part of a "truth in advertising" awareness campaign to combat the promotional ads of the tobacco industry.
Many of us can immediately recall trendy and inviting images that have at one time or another adorned cigarette products and advertisements. Elegantly-dressed ladies with shiny teeth and delicately bejeweled fingers remove long, slender cigarettes from finely crafted leather and gold cases in order to engage in "sophisticated" smoking experiences; or ruggedly masculine men look composed and fit as they engage in tough outdoors activities, always with a cigarette dangling coolly from their lips.
Of course, the reality of the effects of cigarette smoking and tobacco addiction can be decidedly unglamorous.
High levels of chemical additives in tobacco leave smokers' teeth stained and yellowing - a distant reality from the shiny-toothed models seen in ads. Tobacco chewers regularly present with receding gum lines and darkened, discolored gums. And far from being fit, many smokers suffer emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory ailments due to the use of tobacco products. Shrunken, mottled, gray, hole-ridden lungs as seen on hospital imaging machines is typical of those suffering from lung cancer -- one of the best known and, along with other tobacco-related cancers, one of the deadlier aspects of tobacco addiction. More than 5 million people will die from the effects of tobacco annually. More than 1 billion are expected to die globally in the 21st century from tobacco usage. The majority of these deaths will occur in developing countries, where smoking is now advertised as a well-deserved, and affordable, luxury.
These stark realities present the best argument for the necessity of "Tobacco Health Warnings" as a form of public education and for the life-saving benefits they provide.
The Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP) is taking this World No Tobacco Day to address tobacco addiction and highlight strategies for tobacco control.
Visit the sites below to see how some organizations around the world recognize World No Tobacco Day 2009.
World No Tobacco Day 2009 Around The World
Asia: Aga Khan University
DCPP has developed several technical resources to address this important issue. Visit www.dcp2.org to read more about topics of tobacco control and related illnesses:
DCP Chapter 46: Tobacco Addiction
Evidence To Influence Policy: NCDs And Tobacco In The Caribbean
Background Paper on the Neurobiology of Nicotine Addiction
Curbing tobacco use in Poland
Breathing Easier: Preventing Chronic Respiratory Diseases in Adults
Saving 150 million lives: the case for global tobacco control by Prof. Prabhat Jha
Snuffing Out Tobacco-Related Disease by Beryl Lieff Benderly
Efforts to Write Tobacco Control Laws Meet Resistance in Kenya , by Florence Machio
Controlling Cancer in Developing Countries
Arjumand Thompson is a Program Associate with the Disease Control Priorities Project.
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