World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987.
Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. Here are some of the shocking facts about Tobacco:
- There are more than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) smokers in the world i.e. about 15% of World population.
- Approximately 10,000,000 (10 million) cigarettes are purchased a minute which accounts to 15,000,000,000 (15 billion) cigarettes a day, which is 5,000,000,000,000 (5 trillion) cigarettes are produced and used every year.
- Globally, use of tobacco products is increasing, although it is decreasing in high-income countries.
- Almost half of the world's children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
- The epidemic is shifting to the developing world.
- More than 80% of the world's smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
- Tobacco use kills 5,400,000 (5.4 million) people a year - an average of one person every six seconds - and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths worldwide.
- Tobacco kills up to half of all users.
- It is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of deaths in the world.
- 100,000,000 (100 million) deaths were caused by tobacco in the 20th century. If current trends continue, there will be up to 1,000,000,000 (one billion) deaths in the 21st century.
- Unchecked, tobacco-related deaths will increase to more than 8,000,000 (eight million) a year by 2030, and 80% of those deaths will occur in the developing world.