World No Tobacco Day 2020
by Glemir Sordilla
Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors World No Tobacco. This event is observed and celebrated globally on May 31 since 1987. Its purpose is to highlight the health risk that the tobacco epidemic caused along with drawing global attention to the policies that are being ineffectively implemented against it. With 8 million preventable deaths, according to WHO, under its belt, the organization is reminding us to make everyday a no tobacco day.
This year’s main focus is on protecting the youth from the industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use. For decades, the tobacco industry has knowingly mapped out strategic techniques to attract the youth in using its products. This much is true when they start investing for their products to taste flavorful. The flavors range from everyone’s fruity favorites to delightful desserts. Making their designs more attractive and handy is also one of their antics and next comes from them backing it up with unproven claims on their vaping products are “safer” and “cleaner.”
In this trying times where staying at home is our option to stay safe, I came across a documentary from Unreported World, titled “Indonesia’s Tobacco Children” where rich and powerful companies host lively sports events for the youth while plastering their products everywhere. The children’s role models who are their celebrities also endorse these companies sealing the young people’s minds in using it for a treat and eventually got hooked, belching their lungs out on one pack or more every day.
This tobacco addiction is also what I see daily. The real-life health effects of it are seen on every cigarette pack that doesn’t seem to deter anyone. Even if policies are passed and sin taxes are being charged and paid for these products, effective and strict implementation of government laws is still needed if they really want to put their people first like what they say they’re doing, but at this point, it just seems like fattening up these companies pockets. Just like the WHO slogan, “Don’t let tobacco take your breath away,” a reminder for a lot of people how multiple they are at risk for every inhale they take.