World No Tobacco Day (WNTD)
May 31 was designated as World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) by the Member States of the World Health Organization in 1987 to stress the importance to fight against the tobacco epidemic, and to reduce the preventable death and diseases caused by its consumption.
Each year, a specific theme is highlighted. Materials and activities focused on the theme are designed to raise awareness of the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.
The theme of World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), May 31 2008, is "Smoke-free youth".
Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. It is the only legal consumer product that kills one third to one half of those who use it as intended by its manufacturers, with its victims dying on average 15 years prematurely.
Approximately 1.8 billion young people (aged 10-24) live in our world today with more than 85% found in developing countries. Having survived the vulnerable childhood period, these young people are generally healthy.
However, as the tobacco industry intensifies its efforts to hook new, young and potentially life-long tobacco users, the health of a significant percentage of the world's youth is seriously threatened by their deadly products.
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and child and adolescent experimentation can easily lead to a lifetime of tobacco dependence.
For more information, visit WHO's WNTD 2008 page.