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World No-Tobacco Day -- May 31, 1999

The theme for this year's World No-Tobacco Day, May 31, is "Leave the Pack Behind." As part of World No-Tobacco Day, smokers are encouraged to quit, and governments, community organizations, schools, and families and friends are encouraged to help smokers quit.

Preventing tobacco use by young persons is critical for long-term reductions in tobacco-related deaths. However, the projected increase in global mortality from tobacco use, from 3 million deaths in 1990 to 10 million in 2025, primarily represents mortality among persons who already smoke (1). Smoking cessation interventions can prevent many of these projected deaths.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that governments, community organizations, and health-care systems and professionals 1) make tobacco-use treatment an important public health priority; 2) offer practical interventions; 3) assess and document tobacco use and provide treatment as part of total health care; 4) fund proven treatments and make them widely available; 5) take responsibility for motivating smokers to quit and remain abstinent; 6) monitor tobacco use, and tax and regulate the sale and marketing of tobacco products; 7) invest in developing new treatments for nicotine dependence; and 8) encourage other professionals to set an example by quitting tobacco use (2).

Additional information about World No-Tobacco Day 1999 is available from WHO's World-Wide Web site, teaser.htm* and CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion,, telephone (800) 232-1311.


  1. World Health Organization. Tobacco or health: a global status report. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1997.
  2. World Health Organization. Statement on treatment for tobacco dependence. Available at: Accessed April 14, 1999.

* References to sites of nonfederal organizations on the World-Wide Web are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites.

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