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May 31 Marks World No Tobacco Day 2013

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—The World Health Organization’s (WHO) theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day centers on eliminating tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. The ultimate goal of World No Tobacco Day is to help protect present and future generations, not only from the devastating health consequences of tobacco use, but also from the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. The 2013 campaign is further intended to drive local, national and international efforts to counteract tobacco industry attempts to undermine tobacco control, specifically industry efforts to stall or stop comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.

According to WHO, comprehensive advertising bans lead to reductions in the numbers of people who start and continue smoking. Statistics show that banning tobacco advertising and sponsorship is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce tobacco demand, yet despite the effectiveness of comprehensive bans, only 6 percent of the world’s population is fully protected from exposure to the tobacco industry’s marketing efforts. Currently the U.S. is not protected by a comprehensive ban. 

Worldwide, the tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are nonsmokers who die due to secondhand smoke exposure. In Alaska tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death causing nearly 600 deaths each year. Free cessation help is available for Alaska adults by calling Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visiting Alaskaquitline.com. Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line offers free coaching and nicotine replacement therapy.

For more information on World No Tobacco Day, visit www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2013/en/.

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