Islamabad (Web Desk/Agencies): World No Tobacco Day was observed across the globe, including Pakistan on Wednesday (May 31).
This year, theme for the day is Grow Food, Not Tobacco.
The day is observed to create awareness among the masses about hazardous effects of tobacco on health and the environment.
Various private and public anti-tobacco organisations in Pakistan also arranged different activities to observe World No Tobacco Day.
Over 100 representative organisations in collaboration with the Coalition for Tobacco Control (CTC) organised seminars, rallies, and various activities across the country, including the display of posters and banners to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco use on the day.
These activities aimed to raise awareness among the public about the adverse health effects of tobacco, the burden on public health budgets, and the spread of tobacco-related diseases.
Speakers in these events said that the tobacco industry contaminates our water, soil, beaches, and streets with chemicals, toxic residues from cigarettes, including microplastics, and e-cigarette waste.
They said that tobacco industry uses approximately 22,000 billion tons of water to produce cigarettes. “If we prioritize food over tobacco, we can solve our food scarcity issues.”
During these events, public was informed that how tobacco industry has come forward aggressively in order to maximize its profits.
"It is crucial to remember that millions of people lose their lives due to tobacco consumption every year, yet the tobacco industry continues to expand while increasing its profits," they added.
In Pakistan, tobacco-related causes claim the lives of nearly 160,000 individuals annually, and approximately 1,200 to 1,500 children start tobacco use before the age of 18. It is of utmost importance to protect future generations from the harmful effects of tobacco.
It is pertinent to mention that the World Health Organization (WHO) member states created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.
In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a "a world no-smoking day." In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.