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World No Tobacco Day 2019: Don’t let tobacco take your breath away
2019-05-31 10:43:13

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.

The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is on "tobacco and lung health." The campaign will increase awareness on:

  • the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease,
  • the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.

The campaign also serves as a call to action, advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and engaging stakeholders across multiple sectors in the fight for tobacco control.

On today’s World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization is highlighting the damage tobacco causes to lung health: over 40% of all tobacco-related deaths are from lung diseases like cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis. WHO is calling on countries and partners to increase action to protect people from exposure to tobacco.

There are more than 8 million tobacco-related deaths a year in the world. Millions more live with lung cancer, tuberculosis, asthma or chronic lung disease caused by tobacco. Healthy lungs are essential to living a healthy life.

Tobacco killed 3.3 million users and people exposed to second-hand smoke from lung-related conditions in 2017, including:

  • 1.5 million people dying from chronic respiratory diseases
  • 1.2 million deaths from cancer (tracheal, bronchus and lung)
  • 600 000 deaths from respiratory infections and tuberculosis

More than 60 000 children aged under 5 die of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke. Those who live on into adulthood are more likely to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) later in life.

Percentage of current tobacco smokers in male population of Armenia is 51.5%, according to 2016-2017 Armenia STEPS Survey, which is one of the highest in the WHO European region (the regional average was 38.5%), and in female population is 1.8 %, which is lower than WHO European region average among women (the regional average was 20.7%).

“Taking into account that Armenia is currently works on the development of the new tobacco control policy we would like to make a focus on the importance of protecting people from tobacco smoke, the right of people for health. Enforcing smoke-free laws can be simple and cost-effective. Healthy lungs are essential to living a healthy life,” said Dr Egor Zaitsev, WHO Representative in Armenia.

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