World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed on 31st May, every year around the world. Yearly, tobacco consumption leads to nearly 6 million deaths worldwide, including 6 lakhs of non-smokers due to passive smoking. Through this day, WHO and its partners intends to draw attention to the menace of high tobacco consumption and the resulting negative effects on health.
Every year, World Health Organization selects a theme on World No Tobacco day to create a unified global message. This theme becomes the central point in the tobacco-related agenda for the following year and WHO oversees the creation and distribution of publicity materials related to this theme.
For World No Tobacco Day 2015, WHO calls on countries to work together to end the illicit trade of tobacco related products. All nations throughout the world are subject to illicit trade in some form or another, leading to a huge loss of tax money and customs revenue.
- Raise awareness about the hazards to people’s health due to illicit trade of tobacco products, owing to the increased accessibility and affordability of these products because of their lower cost.
- To show how tobacco control policies, pictorial health warnings and other measures are undermined by the illicit trade in tobacco products.
- To create awareness about how the tobacco based industries have been involved in the illicit trade of tobacco products.
- Highlighting how the illicit tobacco trade is a means of amassing great wealth for criminal groups to finance other organised crime activities, including drugs, human and arms trafficking, as well as terrorism.
- To create awareness on how illicit tobacco products attract young people into tobacco experimentation because of its increased affordability.
- To inform how this kind of trade takes away the tax related revenue from the Government, which could have otherwise been spent on the provision of public services.