World No Tobacco Day is observed on May 31 every year since 1987.
About the World No Tobacco Day 2022
World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987.
It was to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.
In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed which called for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.
Theme: "Tobacco: Threat to our environment " is the theme of the “World No Tobacco Day” 2022.
It aims to create awareness among the public on the detrimental impact of tobacco cultivation, production, distribution, and waste on the environment, besides human health.
Impact of Tobacco on Environment:
According to WHO, about 3.5 million hectares of land are cleared for growing tobacco each year.
It causes deforestation mainly in the developing nations.
Tobacco cultivation results in soil degradation, making it infertile to support the growth of other crops or vegetation.
Tobacco contributes 84 megatons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year; around twenty-two billion litres of water is consumed in the production of cigarettes every year.
Tobacco in India:
In India tobacco is one of the important cash crops. India is the second-largest crop producer in the world after China.
According to the Central Tobacco Research Centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), around 760 million kg of Tobacco is grown in India on about 40 lakh hectares of land.
The sector provides jobs to millions of people and contributes as much as Rs.22,737 crore as excise duty and Rs.5,969 crore in foreign exchange to the national treasury.
Impacts Soil: Tobacco is a very nutrient-hungry crop, and it depletes soil nutrients more rapidly.
Tobacco cultivation requires the application of pesticides and fertilizers in large amounts, which degrade overall soil health.
Tobacco cultivation results in soil erosion because it is typically grown as a monocrop, exposing the topsoil to wind and water.
Impact on Health:
It is estimated that about 29% of the adult Indian population consumes Tobacco.
Most commonly, it is consumed as Smokeless Tobacco Products like khaini, gutkha, and zarda. Smoking forms of tobacco are used as bidi, cigarette, hookah, etc.
The smokeless forms pose high risks of oral and oesophageal cancer.
Their consumption by pregnant women can also lead to stillbirth and low birth weight in infants.
People addicted to smoking are, on the other hand, at very high risk of lung, oral cavity, pharynx, nasal cavity, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, kidney, ureter, urinary bladder, uterine cervix, and bone marrow cancers.
Efforts by Indian Government to have no tobacco
Cigarettes Act, 1975: It mandated display of statutory health warnings in advertisement and on cartons and cigarette packages.
Delhi Prohibition of smoking and Non Smokers Health Protection Act’, 1997: This very statute became the model for Central Legislation banning smoking in public places in 2002, on the directions of Supreme Court.
Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade, Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act –COTPA, 2003] –
It aims to provide smoke free public places and also places restrictions on tobacco advertisement and promotion.
This Act includes the prohibition of smoking in public places, advertisement of cigarettes and other tobacco products, sale of cigarettes or other tobacco products to anyone below the age of 18 years, and prohibition of selling areas like schools, colleges, etc.
‘Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019’ – It prohibits Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.
The National Health Policy 2017: The policy have set an ambitious target of reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025.