May 31st is observed as the World No Tobacco Day, a day devoted to focus on the health problems linked to smoking and to urge for the cessation or reduction of the use of tobacco.
The theme of this year’s tobacco day is “Raise Taxes on Tobacco”. This aims at recommending the countries to build effective policies that discourage the use of tobacco.
Increment in tobacco prices by raise in tobacco taxes is one of the most significant & cost-effective means to reduce and prevent tobacco use. Research highlights that higher taxes can reduce the relative affordability, thus will encourage smokers to quit, decrease in cigarette consumption, and will definitely discourage young persons from initiation of smoking. It also generates government revenues, which can be invested in effective tobacco control.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that tobacco kills around 6 million people each year, which means that after every six seconds, one person dies. Only 8% of the world’s population live in countries where tobacco taxes are sufficiently high. Not only this but over 6,00,000 of the people who die from a tobacco related disease are not smokers. They die of second-hand smoke (often referred as passive smoking), the smoke coming from the smoker’s cigarette, which he does not inhale. Also, around 1 billion people around the world are active smokers, and almost 80 percent are from low income or middle income countries, such as Botswana. If situation prevails, 500 million persons alive today are estimated to die from the consumption of tobacco and related products. By 2030, tobacco use will lead to approximately 8 million/year deaths worldwide. 80% of these deaths are preventable which will more commonly occur in developing countries.
This not only has serious economic significance for the government itself, but also for the families and for the society at large.
Tobacco deaths at an early age do not allow the families or households to meet their expected income, especially in those situations where the person who died was the one who earned money to support his family.
Moreover, Tobacco is the leading cause of many serious illnesses, like heart diseases and cancer, the treatment of which could be very expensive. As a result, the families not only lose a fractionally large part their of income, but they also have to spend too much money in the treatment of their beloved ones.
If a smoker is willing to quit tobacco, then below are some tips that might help him:
S = Set a quit date
T = Tell friends, family, and colleagues about your plan to quit
A = Anticipate and be prepared for the challenges that you might face while quitting
R = Remove cigarettes and all other tobacco products from your workplace, home and car.
T = Talk to a counselor or a doctor in order to get help for quitting
Tips for addressing withdrawal symptoms
When someone reduces or quits the intake of tobacco, he may feel physical symptoms, like headaches, irritability, dizziness, anxiety, depression, poor mood regulation and sleep disturbances. Drinking a lot of water after smoking might help in flushing out toxins and also in controlling cravings. The person should also try to keep his fingers/hands busy, like, playing with paper clips, squeezing stress balls, or using a cell phone are some of the substitutes that might satisfy the need for tactile stimulation. If someone feels like he is going to give in to his tobacco craving, then he should tell himself that he need to wait for 10 minutes, and then start doing something to divert his attention for that specific period of time. Moreover, if someone thinks that he might come across a smoking problem in the future, or if someone’s friend or a family member already has a smoking issue, then it is encouraged to seek help instantly.
Goals of 2014
The ultimate goals of World No Tobacco Day:
- Contribution in protection of present and future generations from the environmental and social scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke, along with the devastating damages and health consequences resulting from tobacco usage.
- Government to increase taxes on tobacco so that to reduce tobacco consumption.
- Civil society organizations and individuals should encourage their governments to raise taxes on tobacco to levels that reduces its consumption.