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World No Tobacco Day

Nigeria: World No Tobacco Day – Researchers Say Cigarette Promotes Bacteria, Reduces Immunity

As the world yesterday marked this year’s World No Tobacco Day, researchers have found that cigarette smoke and its components infiltrate bacteria in the body and reduce the immunity.

This is coming as the World Health Organisation, WHO, said moves to introduce plain packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products.

The researchers from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry researchers led by David A. Scott, found that Cigarette smoke and its components promote biofilm formation by several pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mutans, Klebsiella pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, report scientists.

In the findings released on this year’s World No Tobacco Day, the researchers who explored how cigarettes lead to infiltration of bacteria in the body said the mouth is the dirtiest parts of the body and smoking makes it worse.

According to them, puffing cigarettes can increase the likelihood that certain bacteria like Porphyromonas gingivalis will not only set up camp but will build a fortified city in the mouth and fight against the immune system.

Scott and his team identified how tobacco smoke, composed of thousands of chemical components, stating that tobacco smoke is an environmental stressor and promotes bacteria colonization and immune invasion.

Scott explained that Biofilms are composed of numerous microbial communities often made up of complex, interacting and co-existing multispecies structures. Bacteria can form biofilms on most surfaces including teeth, heart valves and the respiratory tract.

“Once a pathogen establishes itself within a biofilm, it can be difficult to eradicate as biofilms provide a physical barrier against the host immune response, can be impermeable to antibiotics and act as a reservoir for persistent infection,” Scott added.

“Furthermore, biofilms allow for the transfer of genetic material among the bacterial community and this can lead to antibiotic resistance and the propagation of other virulence factors that promote infection.”

In a related development, the World Health Organisation, WHO, has said that the moves to introduce plain (standardized) packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products.

In a statement to mark this year’s World no Tobacco Day, WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan explained that “Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people.

“It restricts tobacco advertising and promotion. It limits misleading packaging and labelling. And it increases the effectiveness of health warnings.”

The theme of this year’s World No Tobacco Day – Get ready for plain packaging – highlights the new trend in global efforts to control tobacco products, which kill almost six million people annually.

To mark World No Tobacco Day, WHO is launching a new guide to plain packaging of tobacco products, which gives governments the latest evidence and guidance on implementing the measure.

World No Tobacco Day

Plain packaging & tobacco taxes: an antidote for manipulation and deception


For 2016’s World No Tobacco Day, celebrated today, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) are calling on countries to get ready for plain packaging of tobacco products. Why, may you ask?

The importance of this regulation is best explained in “Phishing for Phools” a new book by Nobel Prize Laureates in Economics, George Akerlof (2001) and Robert Shiller (2013). We humans think in terms of stories, Akerlof and Shiller observed, and our decisions are consequently determined by the stories we tell ourselves. Advertisers use this to their advantage by “graph[ing] their story” onto ours, and thereby influencing the decisions we make—in this case, to get us addicted to tobacco use, particularly teenagers and low-income people.

Australia passed legislation in 2012 to reduce the appeal of smoking by restricting the use of logos, colors, brand images, or promotional information on packaging other than brand names and product names displayed in a standard color and small font below hard-hitting warnings depicting the negative health consequences of smoking. In the two years following the law, tobacco consumption declined 12.8%, which some have attributed, in part, to the legislation.

Other countries are starting to follow Australia’s example. Similar regulations approved in France and the United Kingdom are set to begin implementation in 2016, and they are under formal consideration in several other countries across the world. Uruguay and Thailand already mandate that at least 80% of front and back of the packaging be covered with graphic health warnings. And Mauritius leads Africa in terms of requirements for tobacco packaging and labelling.

The arsenal of effective consumer protection regulations that contribute to reduce the social acceptability of smoking also includes advertising bans, smoke-free public spaces, and restricting sales to minors. In the United States as mandated to the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the 2009, “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” regulatory agencies have authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, like any other drug.

Cigarette taxes also play an important role in tobacco control. Evidence presented by high-level officials from China, Philippines, Uruguay, and the United States at a global tax conference held at the World Bank this past week, shows that raising tobacco taxes increases prices, reduces consumption, and improves the public health by reducing ill health and premature death.

Expanding the Global Tax Base: Taxing to Promote Public Goods, Tobacco Taxes: (Pictured left to right) Patricio Marquez, World Bank Group, Fernando Serra, Ministry of Economy & Finance, Uruguay; Philip Cook, Duke University; George Akerlof, Georgetown University; Jason Furnman, US President’s Council of Economic Advisers; Jeremias Paul, former Under Secretary of Finance, Philippines; and Rose Zheng, University of International Business and Economics,  Beijing, China.

Expanding the Global Tax Base: Taxing to Promote Public Goods, Tobacco Taxes:
(Pictured left to right) Patricio Marquez, World Bank Group, Fernando Serra, Ministry of
Economy & Finance, Uruguay; Philip Cook, Duke University; George Akerlof, Georgetown
University; Jason Furnman, US President’s Council of Economic Advisers; Jeremias Paul,
former Under Secretary of Finance, Philippines; and Rose Zheng, University of International
Business and Economics, Beijing, China.

Contrary to the assumption that tobacco taxes are financially regressive, Jason Furman, the Chairman of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers, illustrated how the sum of benefits fully offset the additional cost of taxes on consumers—tobacco taxes disproportionately benefit lower income households because as tobacco taxes increase, better health ensues, less money is needed for smoking-related healthcare services, and labor productivity improves due to reduced sickness and absenteeism.

Raising tobacco taxes is also an easy way to raise domestic revenue for health and other priority investments, as it is done in the Philippines under the 2012 Sin Tax Law to expand health insurance coverage to 15 million poor families or about 45 million people, and in the United States after federal tobacco taxes were increased in 2009 by US President Obama to fund the expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for low-income children. The 2015 excise tax increase at the wholesale level in China, which has increased the tax rate as a percentage of the retail price from 49% to 56%, is a significant step for China, not only because the country is the largest producer and consumer of tobacco in the world, but also to deal with the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. The experience of Uruguay, a country with one of the most comprehensive tobacco control laws in the world, shows that its application has significantly decreased smoking among adults from nearly 50% to about 20% over the past decade.

We have to be clear that tobacco control measures, such as plain packaging and higher taxes, are not part of a “nanny state” designed to hinder “free choice” in society. For those of us who have lost loved ones due to tobacco-related diseases, the story is a painful one. Simply told, our loved ones had become addicted to cigarettes, a product that unlike any other product on the market, kills when used as promoted by the “feel good” stories of manufacturers. Indeed, despite new year’s resolutions and promises to quit, they could not shake off the “urge” to smoke!

On this World No Tobacco Day, the international community needs to recommit itself to support countries in adopting plain packaging legislation to make tobacco use less attractive and increase taxes to make tobacco products less affordable. Improving public health and protecting future generations from the risks of tobacco use should be a priority in the global social contract. We owe it to the memory of our loved ones and to the millions of people who have died prematurely because of their tobacco addiction.

World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2016

Clear the Air says:

The rest of the world is starting to follow the WHO directive, except here, where the clocks are winding back instead of forward.

Hong Kong Health Bureau officials, having learned the Ombudsman is chasing their lack of effort and political will, have now decided they will press for

– Oops not plain packaging-

they will (following 3rd world country India who already did it) press instead for an 85% graphic health warning (replacing outmoded 50% current) on the packet, but the whole idea is to take away the glitzy colors which Big Tobacco uses on its ‘Silent Salesman’ packet, its remaining legal advertising gullible youth attractant fly paper

Whiskers middle class citizen food truck promoting Tsang took in HKD 6.297 bn last year in excise tobacco tax to the concrete pouring fund, and doled out a meagre HKD 160 million for tobacco control whilst HK continues to subvent the costs of smoking related health care as tobacco executives with impunity continue to smuggle (not control their supply chains) their own brands to get more market share =more deaths = defeat tobacco control existing flimsy methods.

Earlier, last month on May 20, France and Britain each began the implementation of plain packaging under new laws. Ireland is also preparing to introduce the measure this year; Hungary and Norway are in the process of developing laws to implement plain packaging; Singapore is undertaking a public consultation with a view to introducing plain packaging; and several other countries, including New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey, have either expressed an intent to implement the measure or are in the policy development process. Canada follows Australia’s lead and has sued Big Tobacco and won, CAD 15 billion for recovery of health care costs – why not here ?

Get ready for plain packaging

Plain packaging of tobacco products can save lives by reducing demand for tobacco products, and is recommended in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. “Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan.

Canadian Cancer Society praises federal consultation on tobacco plain packaging

The Canadian Cancer Society commends Minister of Health Jane Philpott for launching a formal consultation toward implementing tobacco plain packaging in Canada.

The consultation document, announced today on World No Tobacco Day, provides a detailed outline of how plain packaging may be required in Canadian regulations.

“Plain packaging is highly effective and is supported by extensive research,” says Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst, Canadian Cancer Society. “If plain packaging were not effective, then tobacco companies would not be so strongly opposed to it. It is precisely because plain packaging will reduce sales that tobacco companies are objecting so loudly.”

“It is encouraging that the government is looking not only to eliminate tobacco-company promotion on packages, but also to standardize the shape of the package and to ban slim cigarettes,” says Cunningham. “Slim and superslim cigarettes target young women and associate smoking with weight loss, sophistication and glamour.”

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Canada, including about 30% of all cancer deaths. Among women alone, the number of lung cancer deaths is double the number of breast cancer deaths. Smoking kills 37,000 Canadians every year. The 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey found that 18% of Canadians (more than 5 million people) are smokers.

“Plain packaging is a key tobacco control measure to advance public health in Canada,” says Cunningham. “Today’s announcement of a formal consultation brings us closer to the day when plain packaging will be in effect to protect youth.”

“Tobacco companies should not be able to use the package as mini-billboards to promote tobacco,” adds Cunningham. “Tobacco is a highly addictive, lethal product and should not be sold in packages made to be more attractive. It is essential to provide protection from tobacco-industry marketing tactics, especially for children.” A growing number of other countries are requiring plain packaging, which will make it easier for Canada to do so. The international trend is very positive.

What are other countries doing?

Plain packaging was required in Australia in 2012, implemented in the UK and France as of May 20, 2016, will be implemented soon in Ireland and is under formal consideration in New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Slovenia and other countries.

What is plain packaging?

Plain packaging prohibits brand colours, logos and graphics on tobacco packages. Graphic health warnings and pictures still appear, but the rest of the package is a standard colour for all brands, such as the drab brown required in Australia. Package dimensions are standardized, eliminating slim and superslim packs as well as other attractive package formats recently introduced by tobacco companies.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.

Mapped: The countries that smoke the most cigarettes

To mark World No-Tobacco Day, we’ve mapped the world according to cigarette consumption.

Those countries shown in darker colours smoke the most; those in lighter ones the least.


As with alcohol consumption, Eastern European countries dominate. Montenegro, where 4,124.53 cigarettes are smoked per adult per year, according to 2014 figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO), is the top of the pile, while Belarus, Macedonia, Russia, Slovenia and Bosnia also make the top 10.

The 20 countries that smoke the most

  1. Montenegro
  2. Belarus
  3. Lebanon
  4. Macedonia
  5. Russia
  6. Slovenia
  7. Belgium
  8. Luxembourg
  9. China
  10. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  11. Czech Republic
  12. Kazakhstan
  13. Azerbaijan
  14. Greece
  15. South Korea
  16. Austria
  17. Jordan
  18. Ukraine
  19. Estonia
  20. Hungary

Lebanon and China are the most tobacco-dependent non-European countries. Few regular visitors to Greece will be surprised to see it at 14th. Other popular summer holiday destinations not far from the smokers’ summit include Croatia, Turkey and Italy.

Britons, conversely, consume far fewer cigarettes – just 827.48 per adult per year – placing it 73rd on the list. The US is slightly higher, at 58th.

Residents of Guinea should be proud of the fact that they smoke the least of all those countries to feature in the WHO’s list. The Pacific nations also fare well, with the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Vanuatu among the 10 most tobacco-free countries.

There is also a clear relationship between wealth and tobacco consumption. Many of the world’s poorest countries can be found in the lower reaches of the rankings. Those with no data appear in grey on the map above.

The 20 countries that smoke the least

  1. Guinea
  2. Soloman Islands
  3. Kiribati
  4. Rwanda
  5. Samoa
  6. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  7. Vanuatu
  8. Suriname
  9. Malawi
  10. Tonga
  11. Mozambique
  12. Nepal
  13. Afghanistan
  14. Lesotho
  15. Trinidad and Tobago
  16. Burundi
  17. Tanzania
  18. Liberia
  19. Niger
  20. Sao Tome and Principe

New Zealand, Norway Plan to Require Plain Packs for Tobacco

New Zealand and Norway intend to force tobacco companies to remove branding on cigarette packets and other tobacco products as more countries follow the lead of Australia across the world.

The New Zealand government, which aims to become a smoke-free nation by 2025, is proposing plain cigarette packaging with all tobacco imagery removed and with prominent and gruesome health warnings covering at least 75 percent of the front of the packs. The Norwegian government will send a bill to parliament in June that would strip tobacco products of logos, Health Minister Bent Hoeie said at a conference in Oslo Tuesday.

Australia has led the way in plain packaging after legal challenges failed to overturn new tobacco branding laws there. The U.K., Ireland and France were the first European countries to back the measure, which prompted legal challenges from cigarette makers including Philip Morris International Inc. and British American Tobacco Plc.

“The louder they scream, the more effective the measure must be,” said Douglas Bettcher, a World Health Organization director who spoke in Oslo on the occasion of World No-Tobacco Day. “The tobacco industry’s nightmares are in fact lifesavers.”

Brand names will be allowed in New Zealand but regulations will standardize printing and placement, Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga said. The regulations are expected to take effect after legislation is passed later this year, he added.

New Zealand announced last week that the tax on tobacco will be increased by 10 percent each year for the next four years, driving the price for a standard pack of 20 cigarettes up to around NZ$30 ($20).

Norway will require cigarettes and snus — a form of smokeless tobacco — to be sold in dark green packs. Young people in the country have been smoking less though their use of snus has increased dramatically in the past decade, according to the government.

“It will look like the addictive and dangerous product it is,” Norwegian Health Minister Hoeie said. “We are moving toward a smoke-free generation. Someday tobacco will look as unbelievably outdated as smoking in airplanes.”

Sudarsan’s sand art on Odisha beach on World No Tobacco Day

On the occasion of ‘World No Tobacco Day’, internationally acclaimed Odisha-based artist Sudarsan Patnaik along with his students created a sand sculpture at the Puri beach to spread awareness about the dangerous consequences of smoking.

In the sculpture, tobacco has been termed as “Killer”, as it leads to heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and cancer.

Patnaik took to twitter to share the image of the beautiful sand art. “On the occasion of #WorldNoTobaccoDay my students created SandArt at PuriBeach in Odisha today,” he tweeted along with the pic.

Notably, World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and its negative health effects.

Tobacco foes fight youth-targeting tactics

Big Tobacco is frequently accused of searching for new ways to hook younger smokers.

Tuesday, May 31 is both World No Tobacco Day and the statewide launch of the Seen Enough Tobacco campaign.

Anthony Billoni, Director of Tobacco-Free WNY, says his group is working to raise awareness of youth-targeting strategies used by the tobacco industry.

“We know that tobacco kills one in two users, so they’re basically killing off half of their customer base,” Billoni said. “They call the youth ‘replacement smokers,’  replacement tobacco users.’”

Seen Enough Tobacco is using social media, digital advertising and a children’s book titled “Jack and Jill (and Tobacco)” to get its message out to the community. The
campaign’s new website,, is a resource for learning how to protect children from tobacco marketing.

A recent CDC study reports that smoking among U.S. high school students is at its lowest level in 22 years. However, according to Billoni, tobacco companies are working
harder than ever to appeal to young people.

“The fact is that still, kids are becoming addicted,” he said. “A low number is not a zero number. We still are concerned about kids that are yet to become addicted that are getting addicted, and that’s what we’re working toward.”

Billoni also noted that 􀃖gures showing a decline in tobacco usage are skewed by a rise in electronic cigarette usage, most of which contain nicotine as well. E-cigarettes were originally marketed as a smoking alternative which help smokers quit, but a trend in recreational e-cigarette use among teens presents an issue.

Many young people who do not smoke cigarettes choose to “vape” and Billoni fears that, once addicted to the nicotine in e-cigarette juice, they will eventually turn to cigarettes. Big Tobacco reportedly spends over $500,000 a day in New York State marketing in places where opponents say children can see the targeted messages.

Top 10 facts about tobacco

TODAY is World No Tobacco Day, which has been celebrated on May 31 every year since it was created by the World Health Organisation in 1988.

  1. The word tobacco comes from a Caribbean language but it is unclear whether it meant a tube of tobacco leaves or the pipe they were smoked in.
  2. The island of Tobago was once called tavaco or tobaco, possibly for its cigar-like shape.
  3. The annual tax revenue from tobacco in the UK is more than £12 billion
  4. Around a third of the world’s adult population are smokers.
  5. It was been calculated that every cigarette a person smokes reduces their expected life span by 11 minutes.
  6. Worldwide, 15 billion cigarettes are smoked every day.
  7. In 1604 King James VI wrote A Counterblaste To Tobacco, attacking the practice of smoking.
  8. He described it as a “Custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs.”
  9. In 1665 pipe-smoking was compulsory among pupils at Eton as a defence against the plague.
  10. Rodrigo de Jerez, a crewman of Columbus, was the first known European smoker. He was thrown in jail for it as exhaling smoke was seen as satanic.