May 31: World No Tobacco Day

31st May, 2021 is observed as World No Tobacco Day annually. The theme for this year’s observance is Commit to Quit.

This day has been observed since the year 1987 after the World Health Organisation created the World No Tobacco Day to divert global attention towards the harmful effects of tobacco and the diseases and deaths that it causes.

Top ten tobacco smoking countries

The top 10 countries with the highest tobacco users as of 2019 are:

  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • USA
  • Russia
  • Bangladesh
  • Japan
  • Turkey
  • Vietnam
  • Philippines

Significance of this day

  • As per the lancet study, in the past three decades, nearly 200 million deaths were caused due to smoking of tobacco
  • The annual economic costs due to smoking tobacco are more than 1 trillion USD.
  • Every one in six non communicable disease related deaths is associated with tobacco smoking.
  • Lancet has identified that Tobacco control is a necessary and crucial aspect so as to reach the World Health Organization’s goal to reduce premature mortality by 25% occurring from non communicable diseases by the year 2025 so as to comply with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • This day is observed to raise awareness among the people regarding the harmful effects of smoking of Tobacco.

Concerns regarding Tobacco Smoking

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 70% of the 1.3 billion tobacco addicts around the world lack access to methods and tools that are required to help an individual in quitting Tobacco use. Also, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this access has become far more exacerbated due to the health workers focussing on the pandemic.


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