World No-Tobacco Day reenforces need to quit
To the Editor:
On Tuesday, May 31, the world celebrated “World No Tobacco Day 2011” to increase the public’s awareness regarding the hazards of tobacco use, the business strategies of tobacco companies and what the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners around the world have been doing to fight the tobacco epidemic.The concept of World No-Tobacco Day was initiated because tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the world and is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced.
The theme chosen for this year was “The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.”
With the sponsorship of WHO this is the first treaty ever negotiated representing a significant achievement in the advancement of public health.
An evidence-based treaty, it reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health and provides new legal dimensions for cooperation in tobacco control.
Only in force since 2005, it is already one of the most rapidly and widely embraced treaties in the history of the United Nations, with ratification of 172 Parties.
Presently, the United States is not one of the ratifying parties!
Did you know, The United States is one of the only places in the world a person can buy tobacco products in a Pharmacy?
Pharmacy’s stand for health and wellness, not death and dying. We should be the leaders and set the example for the rest of the world.
In America, according to the 2010 US Surgeon Generals’ Report: How Tobacco Causes Disease, tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 toxic chemicals.
We need to take action and protect our youth because each day about 4, 000 teens smoke a cigarette for the first time.
That’s nearly 1.5 million youth per year in America. It’s as many people as the entire population of a city like Philadelphia.
The majority of teens that have tried tobacco have no idea about how easy it is to become addicted.
Of the 4,000 teens that smoke a cigarette for the first time 1,000 will become daily smokers because nicotine addiction is so powerful.
Worldwide more than 5 million people will die from tobacco-related illnesses such as: heart attacks, strokes, cancers, lung or other diseases.
This does not include the more than 600,000 people who will die from exposure to second-hand smoke and more than a quarter of them will be children.
The annual death toll from the global epidemic of tobacco use could rise to 8 million by 2030. No consumer product kills as many people as needlessly as does tobacco.
Therefore, having killed 100 million people during the 20th century, if we don’t act now it could kill 1 billion during the 21st century. All of these deaths would have been preventable.
If you or a loved one uses tobacco, now is the time to think about quitting. Quitting can be challenging but the good news is that help is here.
Contact Canton-Potsdam Hospital to find out more.
Beth Gero, Ph.D., CTTS