World No Tobacco Day May 31

Tobacco Industry Interference was selected as this year’s theme for The World Health Organization (WHO) World No Tobacco Day. World No Tobacco Day is meant to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption across the globe. The day is further intended to draw global attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects. This year’s campaign will focus on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) because of the serious danger they pose to public health.

WHO states that: The tobacco industry has historically employed a multitude of tactics to shape and influence tobacco control policy. The tobacco industry has used its economic power, lobbying and marketing machinery, and manipulation of the media to discredit scientific research and influence governments in order to propagate the sale and distribution of its deadly product. Furthermore, the tobacco industry continues to inject large philanthropic contributions into social programs worldwide to create a positive public image under the guise of corporate social responsibility.

Alaskans can celebrate World No Tobacco day by quitting tobacco. Alexandria Modigh-Hicks, State of Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control program manager said, “Alaska has made great strides in tobacco prevention, and thousands of lives have been saved, but there is till much work to do.” Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the US and in Alaska, causing approximately 443,000 deaths nationwide and 546 deaths in Alaska each year. Tobacco use causes more deaths annually in Alaska than suicide, motor vehicle crashes, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis, homicide, and HIV/AIDS combined.

For more information on World No Tobacco Day, visit http://www.who.int/tobacco/en/. Free help is available for Alaska adults by calling Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting Alaskaquitline.com. Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line offers free coaching, nicotine replacement therapies and/or cessation counseling. For additional information on resources available in our community please contact Colleen Felkl, Tobacco Program Coordinator, with National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Our program is funding by the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services and Department of Public Health.

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