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World No Tobacco Day

The 31st of May is observed globally as World No Tobacco Day. This annual event highlights the dangers of tobacco use, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to combat the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to safeguard their right to health and healthy living for themselves and future generations.

The tobacco epidemic is one of the greatest public health threats the world has ever faced. There is no safe level of tobacco exposure, and all tobacco products are harmful. Globally, cigarette smoking is the most prevalent form of tobacco use.


  • Tobacco kills up to half of its consumers.

  • More than 8 million individuals per year are killed by tobacco. More than 7 million of these fatalities are caused by direct tobacco use, while approximately 1.2 million are caused by non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

  • Over 80% of the world's 1.3 billion smokers reside in low- and middle-income countries.

  • In 2020, 22.3% of the world's population, including 36.7% of men and 7.8% of women, used tobacco.

  • To combat the tobacco epidemic, WHO Member States adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2003. This treaty has been ratified by 182 countries at present.

  • The WHO MPOWER measures are consistent with the WHO FCTC and have been shown to save lives and reduce costs as a result of avoided healthcare expenditures.

Together, we can work towards ensuring Africa’s youth lead happy, healthy, and tobacco-free lives. So, let us get to work!

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