World No Tobacco Day to be observed Tuesday

World No Tobacco Day 2011 will be observed Tuesday, with goals of encouraging tobacco abstinence for a 24-hour period, as well as drawing attention to the dangers of tobacco use.
The observance, created by the World Health Organization in 1987, occurs each May 31. This year’s theme is WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a treaty that “reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health and provides new legal dimensions for cooperation in tobacco control,” said a WHO press release.
The 2005 treaty has been embraced by 170 parties. It protects public health policies from companies with vested interests in the tobacco industry; regulates tobacco products; adopts price and tax measures for tobacco products; regulates packaging and labeling of tobacco products; bans tobacco advertising; bans sales to minor; and supports alternatives to tobacco farming. The key message of the day will be “that countries must fully implement the treaty to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke,” a press release reads.
In recognition of World No Tobacco Day, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has noted latest smoking-related data for the state.
Among Adult Kentuckians, 26 percent are smokers. Fayette County has the lowest rate (17 percent) and Breathitt, Owsley, Perry and Wolfe counties are tied for highest at 36 percent. The data were collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for the years 2007 to 2009. Smoking rates for every county are available by clicking here.
This year, more than 5 million people will die from a tobacco-related heart attack, stroke, cancer, lung ailment or other disease, according to the WHO press release. It said more than 600,000 people, more than a quarter of whom are children, will die from second-hand smoke. (Read more)
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