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Notice to Readers: World No Tobacco Day --- May 31, 2009

Tobacco use is one of the major preventable causes of premature death and disease in the world (1). The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes approximately 5.4 million deaths per year to tobacco use (or one in 10 deaths among adults worldwide), a number expected to exceed 8 million per year by 2030 (2).

Evidence-based tobacco control programs that are comprehensive, sustained, and support nonsmoking behaviors have been shown to prevent and reduce tobacco use (3). Such programs combine educational, clinical, regulatory, economic, and social strategies to establish smoke-free policies and social norms, to promote and assist tobacco users to quit, and to prevent initiation of tobacco use. Strategies include increasing the unit price of tobacco products and implementing smoking bans through policies, regulations, and laws; providing insurance coverage of tobacco use treatment; and limiting minors' access to tobacco products.

As part of a comprehensive tobacco control program, prominent tobacco health warnings that appear on packs of cigarettes have been proven to motivate users to quit and to reduce the appeal of tobacco for those who are not yet addicted (4). WHO's theme for World No Tobacco Day, which will take place on May 31, 2009, is Tobacco Health Warnings. Additional information on World No Tobacco Day 2009 is available at http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2009.

References

  1. Jha P, Chaloupka FJ. Tobacco control in developing countries. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press; 2000.
  2. World Health Organization. WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic, 2008--the MPower package. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2008. Available at http://www.who.int/tobacco/mpower/mpower_report_full_2008.pdf.
  3. CDC. Best practices for comprehensive tobacco control programs---2007. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Humans Services, CDC; 2007. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/tobacco_control_programs/stateandcommunity/best_practices.
  4. World Health Organization. WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2005. Available at http://www.who.int/tobacco/framework/WHO_FCTC_english.pdf.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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Date last reviewed: 5/21/2009

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