In 1988, the WHO Assembly adopted a resolution declaring May 31 as World No Tobacco Day, a date to draw attention to the risks associated with smoking and to advocate for effective policies to reduce its use.
Most of the 2,700-odd people who will die in the next 24 hours in India due to cancer caused by smoking and other tobacco products tried to quit but failed and were living their last days with a feeling of being powerless over their habit.
"Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure are major causes of CVD, including heart attacks and stroke, contributing to approximately three million deaths a year".
Smoking is known to kill more than seven million people across the world each year, including 890,000 from breathing in second-hand smoke.
She called on government to promulgate policies that regulate tobacco, promote smoke-free environments and encourage people to quit smoking as this will improve the health and well-being of all people. "This World No Tobacco Day, WHO is drawing attention to the fact that tobacco not only causes cancer, it literally breaks hearts as well". It focuses on tobacco use as a key risk factor for developing heart and heart related diseases, including stroke. Additionally, there have been a number of tobacco-free campaigns.
Smoking has been linked directly to two leading causes of vision loss, macular degeneration, and cataract.
PMI has already committed $4.5bn in supporting a team of 400 world-class scientists, engineers and technicians who have spent years creating and testing a range of smoke-free products that offer a much better choice for the millions of smokers who don't quit.
"Nicotine, a chemical that is found naturally in tobacco, is as addictive as heroin or cocaine and is attributed to stimulating the body to produce adrenaline, causing faster heart rate".
Asia is home to 60% of the world's 1.1 billion smokers.
He says smoking cigarettes can also lead to heart disease, lung disease, brain disease, strokes and can be the cause of cancer in nearly any organ of the body.
Despite the apparent lack of progress in tackling the total number of smokers, the report highlights that only one in five people smoke today, compared to more than one in four, 18 years ago.
Further, 80 per cent of the more than one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is highest. Tobacco substitutes are also available. Prevalence of tobacco use is decreasing more slowly in LMICs than in high-income countries.
Clearly, since the infamous days of Jeffrey Wigands' revelations of the tobacco industries (particularly Brown and Williamson) deceitful advertising and malicious intent to sell tobacco consumables laced with ammonia, the substance or product continues to have drastic effects on the health of people, across the planet.