Think about it: Tobacco is the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as the manufacturer intends.
This is why, this year’s World No Tobacco Day (Sunday, 31 May) focuses on strengthening the continuous fight against tobacco smoke and its devastating affects on people’s health through highlighting Tobacco Health Warnings.
According to the World Health Organization up to half of all smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease. Not only that, but second-hand smoke harms everyone who is exposed to it. Globally more than five million people die from the effects of tobacco every year – this is more than the combined total for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
‘It is good to constantly remind ourselves of the harmful effects of tobacco products. Especially as tobacco companies use packaging and other advertising techniques to make tobacco appealing, while distracting consumers from the harsh ill-health realities,’ says Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar.
Mr. Kumar encourages everyone to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco use amongst families, friends and co-workers.
Why We Need Tobacco Health Warnings
• Nicotine is a highly addictive substance. Warning people about its true risks can go a long way towards reducing tobacco addiction.
• Requiring warnings on tobacco packages is a simple, cheap and effective strategy that can vastly reduce tobacco use and save lives.
• Effective health warnings, especially those that include pictures, have been proven to motivate users to quit and to reduce the appeal of tobacco for those who are not yet addicted. Despite this fact, 9 out of 10 people live in countries that do not require warnings with pictures on tobacco packages.
For more information on the benefits of tobacco health warnings go to http://www.who.int/tobacco/resources/publications/wntd/2009/materials/brochure/en/index.html
Public Health Department