Grow Food Not Tobacco: World No Tobacco Day

A form of immediate pleasure that takes 1.2M lives each year in India.

Tobacco has been the sole advocate of 15% of global deaths, 1-in-7 deaths worldwide.

Despite its forms, tobacco poses a threat to human life. Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and secondhand smoke have harmful substances like nicotine, tar, radioactive material, and heavy metals that can lead to numerous health complications.

The statistics are alarming: 7 million deaths worldwide are directly linked to tobacco consumption. That’s equivalent to the population of a small country being wiped out annually.

The Lurking Dangers

Smoking affects every organ in the body and increases the risk of developing several life-threatening conditions. Examples include lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory infections.

It’s not only the smokers who suffer; non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke face an increased risk of developing respiratory problems and other health issues.

Young individuals are a popular victim of this addiction- 9 out of 10 smokers start at the age of 18. These young minds come into the grasp of peer pressure and unknowingly fall into a lifelong addiction.

Studies indicate that smokers who start in their teenage years are likely to face greater challenges when attempting to quit later in life. The earlier we educate our youth about the dangers of tobacco, the better equipped they will be to make informed decisions about their health.

Every year on May 31st, people across the globe come together to observe World No Tobacco Day. This significant day aims to raise awareness about the effects of tobacco use and encourage individuals to break free from this addictive habit.

This year The World Health Organisation, through its campaign “Grow food not tobacco,” aims to pluck the problem from the roots -restricting tobacco growth and proper utilisation of tobacco growing subsidies.

Campaign Objectives

Encourage governments to end subsidies for tobacco production so that the savings can be used for crop substitution programs that will support farmers in switching crops and improving their food security and nutrition.

Educate tobacco farming communities about the benefits of switching to sustainable crops instead of tobacco;

Reduce tobacco farming to combat desertification and environmental degradation.

Show how the industry is obstructing sustainable livelihoods.

A key metric of campaign success would be how many governments pledged to end tobacco subsidies.

Quitting is Empowering

Quitting tobacco can be challenging but never impossible. Numerous resources and support systems are available to assist individuals in their journey toward a smoke-free life.

Lean more: It is crucial to remember that quitting smoking improves personal health and benefits those around us.

By quitting, we become champions of our well-being and inspire others to follow.

Fortunately, you are not alone in this journey. Numerous resources and support systems are available to assist you every step of the way.

Seek guidance from healthcare professionals, such as doctors or counsellors, who can provide personalised advice and strategies. In addition, nicotine replacement therapies, medications, and behavioural support programs can increase your chances of success.

Go deeper: Connecting with others quitting or successfully quitting smoking can be incredibly valuable.

Support groups, both in-person and online, offer a sense of community, understanding, and encouragement.

Sharing experiences, challenges, and achievements with others on a similar path can provide the motivation and strength you need during difficult moments.

Quitting tobacco is a journey, and setbacks may occur. Therefore, being patient and kind to yourself throughout the process is essential.

Celebrate small victories and milestones along the way, and never lose sight of the incredible benefits that await you as a non-smoker.

A Call to Action

On this World No Tobacco Day, let us unite in our commitment to end tobacco addiction.

Whether you are a smoker looking to quit or a non-smoker advocating for a healthier future, your voice matters. Encourage friends and family to understand the perils of tobacco use, and together, we can make a difference.