May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. Youth step in and speak out  

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GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – “There are 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide. Tobacco kills around eight million people every year (more than seven million active smokers and over one million non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke), including one million in the Americas. The life expectancy of smokers is at least ten years less than that of non-smokers.

“Tobacco is the only legal consumer product that kills up to half of its users when used exactly as intended by the manufacturer. Tobacco companies spent over eight billion dollars on marketing and advertising.

“Children and adolescents who use e-cigarettes at least double their chance of smoking cigarettes later in life,” according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the tobacco industry targets youth for a lifetime of profits, creating a new wave of addiction.

“Children are using e-cigarettes at rates higher than adults in all regions and globally an estimated 37 million youth aged 13–15 years use tobacco,” the WHO said.

In 2020, 22.3% of the world’s population used tobacco: 36.7% of men and 7.8% of women.

To address the tobacco epidemic, WHO Member States adopted the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) in 2003. Currently 182 countries are Parties to this treaty.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day May 31 is “Youth step in and speak out #TobaccoExposed”

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, annually profiles the global theme for World No Tobacco Day which is part of the department’s calendar of health observances.

For more information call CPS at 542-3003; or email surveillance@sintmaartengov.org