With smoking proving a great health and financial burden, and the primary reason for health inequalities, tackling the problem of smoking has been a major priority for the government since 1998 when they published the white paper Smoking Kills: A White Paper on Tobacco.
Over the subsequent years, this comprehensive tobacco control strategy has seen a number of interventions established, with a focus on product, promotion and price of tobacco.
Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organisation and partners everywhere mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. As most countries lack comprehensive bans for the promotion of tobacco, the theme for World No Tobacco Day 2013 is: ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
According to WHO, in order to help reduce tobacco use, comprehensive advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans need to work to counteract:
- The deceptive and misleading nature of tobacco marketing campaigns;
- The unavoidable exposure of youth to tobacco marketing;
- The failure of the tobacco industry to effectively self-regulate; and
- The ineffectiveness of partial bans.
With tobacco use the single most preventable cause of death globally, killing one in 10 adults worldwide, the ultimate goal of World No Tobacco Day is to help protect present and future generations not only from the devastating health consequences of tobacco use, but also against the social, environmental and economic implications of use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Whilst giving up smoking indefinitely can be a daily uphill struggle, with most smokers taking 5-7 attempts before they succeed, when it comes to quitting smoking, there are many interventions and support systems available, including diet changes, that can make the transition a whole lot easier.
The infographic below from Intelytics, shows the current state of affairs with regards tobacco usage and some of the latest statistics.