World No Tobacco Day
Article date: May 28, 2014
By Stacy Simon
May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, an annual awareness day sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987 to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and encourage governments to adopt effective policies to reduce smoking and other tobacco use.
According to WHO, tobacco use kills nearly 6 million people around the world each year. In the United States, tobacco use is the largest preventable cause of death and disease. It causes many types of cancer, as well as heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other health problems. This year's World No Tobacco Day theme calls on countries worldwide to raise taxes on tobacco.
According to WHO, research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower-income groups and in preventing young people from starting to smoke: A tax increase that raises tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and by up to 8% in most low- and middle-income countries.
Raising taxes is also among the strategies recommended in the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report, The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress to reduce smoking rates among adults and teens in the US. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the American Cancer Society’s affiliate advocacy organization, supports initiatives to increase state and federal tobacco taxes, as well as tax cigars, smokeless tobacco, and other tobacco products at the same rate as cigarettes.
Reviewed by: Members of the ACS Medical Content Staff
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