“On this World No Tobacco Day – I challenge all young people to say no to smoking. I appeal to you all to protect our youth from tobacco’s harm and break the tobacco marketing net.”
~ Dr. Jean-Marc Olivé, WHO Representative in Vietnam ~
Tobacco is a leafy plant grown on our Earth. In 2007, four countries that are China, Brazil, India, and the United States produced two-thirds of the World’s tobacco. Tobacco is an addictive substance because it contains the chemical nicotine and like heroin or cocaine, nicotine changes the way our brains work and causes us to crave more of it. This addiction to nicotine is what makes smoking harmful especially to young people.
World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe. The World Health Organisation and partners mark this day by highlighting the health risks associated with Tobacco use and advocating for the effective policies to reduce Tobacco consumption.
This year, the World Health Organisation and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are calling different countries to get ready for plain or standardized packaging of tobacco products. This is meant to reduce the attractiveness of the tobacco products, restricts the use of tobacco packaging as a form of tobacco advertising and promotion.
A few goals for this World No Tobacco Day 2016 campaign according to WHO is that the day aims to facilitate policy development by member states and the globalisation of plain packaging by providing informative, compelling and persuasive information as well as to highlight the role of plain packaging as part of the comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to tobacco control.
Since smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of death, we, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe in empowering youth leaders and youth organisations in order to collaborate together to achieve a generation free of drugs-abuse. In fact, in one area of our Fourth Millennium Plan of Action, we encourage all of our members to strengthen the capacity of their countries for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks, including danger in abusing addictive substances.
Happy World No Tobacco Day!