World No Tobacco Day, celebrated each year on May 31, unites people, governments and civil society for action against the harms to health of tobacco use. Every year a theme is picked and this year’s theme centers around the tobacco industy’s deceptive and aggressive tactics.
Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80% will live in low- and middle-income countries.
This year as part of the World No Tobacco Day activities, I am leading an online media project to inform and engage the public on the dangers of tobacco and the tobacco industry’s tactics. I hope that you will join me for this day of action by participating in the online dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, and other online venues. Engage with me on Thursday using the hashtag: #WNTD2012, @athenakramos, or @UNMCCRHD!