is observed as the World No Tobacco Day globally. On the suggestion of
the World Health Organization, this day was created in 1987. As the name
suggests, the main motive behind this day is to create awareness regarding the
ill-effects of tobacco. It aims to encourage people to restrain themselves from
the use of tobacco and alcohol. Every year local as well as state bodies join
hands to organize several events in order to make public aware of the negative
health effects of tobacco and to help them get rid of their tobacco addiction.
Various activities like city-wide march, anti-tobacco meetings and poster making
competitions are held to spread awareness.
Every year, a theme
is decided for this day and all the articles, pamphlets and activities are
centered around this theme. The theme for 2016 is: ‘Get ready for plain
packaging’. Plain packaging of tobacco products with graphic health warning
issued is the tobacco related agenda of WHO for year 2016. It is believed that
the unattractive packaging and graphic health warning will help in reduction of
tobacco sale. It limit false advertisement and misleading information about the
tobacco use and will make the health warnings about tobacco use more effective.
This year, WHO is asking all the countries to ban colorful and attractive
packaging of tobacco products and instead opt for plain packs.
While WHO and other
anti-tobacco bodies are doing their best to reduce the deaths caused by tobacco
use by creating maximum awareness, the World No Tobacco Day is facing
resistance from smokers, industries and tobacco farmers from all over the
world. The International Tobacco Growers Association argues that if tobacco is
banned, the livelihood of tobacco farmers will suffer. The industries in
tobacco business are resisting the ban because of the monetary blow that they
will have to face if consumers refuse to buy their products. Other businesses
associated in the marketing and packaging of these tobacco products are also
not very keen to see the reduction of tobacco market share.
Hence, the World No
Tobacco Day has mixed response world-wide. While WHO is trying to create
awareness and help people make the right choice – their life and health, some
industries, for their personal gain do not want its consumers to overcome their
addiction and make the right choice. We
all should join hands and create as much awareness as possible so that this day
can be a success.