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May 30, 2013

READERS' FORUM: May 30, 2013

World No Tobacco Day set for Friday

Every year on May 31, World Health Organization and partners everywhere mark World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2013 is: ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Evidence shows that comprehensive advertising bans lead to reductions in the numbers of people starting and continuing smoking. Statistics show that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand and thus a tobacco control “best buy.”

To help reduce tobacco use, comprehensive advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans work to counteract:

• The deceptive and misleading nature of tobacco marketing campaigns.

• The unavoidable exposure of youth to tobacco marketing.

• The failure of the tobacco industry to effectively self-regulate.

• The ineffectiveness of partial bans.

The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing secondhand smoke. Unless we act, the epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. More than 80 percent of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low- and middle-income countries.

The ultimate goal of World No Tobacco Day is to contribute to protect present and future generations not only from these devastating health consequences, but also against the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.

Specific objectives of the 2013 campaign are to:

• Spur countries to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship such that fewer people start and continue to use tobacco.

• Drive local, national and international efforts to counteract tobacco industry efforts to undermine tobacco control, specifically industry efforts to stall or stop comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

Make every day World No Tobacco Day: www.who.int/tobacco.

Call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for a free resource to help tobacco users quit.

— Tina Elliott

Community Relations Director

Indiana Rural

Health Association

Terre Haute

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