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World No-Tobacco Day -- May 31, 1997

World No-Tobacco Day is an annual international event that encourages governments, communities, and other groups to become more aware of the hazards of tobacco use and requests all persons who use tobacco to quit for at least 24 hours. This year's event will be held May 31; the theme is "United for a Tobacco-Free World" (1).

Tobacco use is expected to be the greatest risk factor for death and disability in the world by 2020 (2). In 1990, approximately 3 million deaths were attributed to tobacco use; by 2025, the annual number of tobacco-related deaths is projected to reach 10 million, with 70% of deaths occurring in developing countries (1). Efforts to reduce tobacco use require the participation of all sectors of society and must be comprehensive in scope. This year's event will highlight the complementary roles of policies and programs at the local, national, and international levels in achieving a tobacco-free world.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which is sponsoring this year's event, will provide press releases, fact sheets, a poster, and an advisory kit on comprehensive measures to reduce tobacco use. Additional information is available from WHO on the Internet (, the WHO Regional Office for the Americas (telephone {202} 974-3000), and from CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion ( (telephone {770} 488-5705).


  1. World Health Organization. World No-Tobacco Day, 31 May 1997 {Advisory kit}. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1996.

  2. World Health Organization. Investing in health research and development. Geneva: World Health Organization, 1996.

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