World No Tobacco Day: Raise tobacco tax, lower death and disease

Raise tobacco tax poster by WHO

Raise tobacco tax poster by WHO

31 May is observed as World No Tobacco Day across the globe, every year. On this day, a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco is encouraged among people. Also the wide spread prevalence of tobacco and its ill effects is brought the forefront. The World Health Organisation (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in the year 1987.

The motto of this year’s World No Tobacco Day, as observed by WHO, is “Raise tobacco tax, lower death and disease”. According to WHO, raising tobacco prices is the most cost effective and efficient way of reducing the consumption of tobacco among low and middle income countries.

Nearly 6 million people die from tobacco related diseases every year and only 8% of the world’s population lie in countries with sufficiently high tobacco taxes, says WHO statistics. Research under WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control shows that increase in tobacco taxes helps in reducing tobacco consumption among lower income groups and also discourages younger generation from adopting this ill habit.

Health Minister of India, Dr. Harsha Vardhan has also strongly supported a hike in tobacco taxes to reduce its consumption among people. “It makes perfect economic sense to regulate the use of tobacco in order to achieve the goal of controlling non-communicable disease in India. Tobacco use is a preventable risk factor for major diseases and the resultant economic consequences,” Harsh Vardhan said, releasing a report on the economic burden of tobacco in India.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi through twitter has appealed to the people of India to “Say No to Tobacco”. The Prime Minister tweeted,

“On World No Tobacco Day, lets pledge to spread awareness on the risks of tobacco consumption & work to reduce tobacco consumption in India. Tobacco not only affects those consuming it, but also people around. By saying no to tobacco, let us lay the foundation of a healthier India.”

For more information also visit: WHO – Raise Tobacco Tax Campaign

Poster designed by WHO

Krishnaveni Ilanthirayan

2nd M.A. Mass Communication

Krishnaveni Ilanthirayan

-Student Editor of The Inquirer, Web version batch 2013-15. Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication, Pondicherry University

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