World No Tobacco Day: Young People Facing Consumption

World No Tobacco Day has its date every May 31 of each year, as a proposal by the World Health Organization (WHO) to face one of the most frequent addictions. This year the emphasis is on young people and their exposure to the scourge.

For this World No Tobacco Day 2020, the WHO launched the slogan “Protect young people from the manipulation of the industry and prevent their consumption of tobacco and nicotine” . The axis is around the early ages and their vulnerability to tobacco propaganda.

Cigarette companies are known to have an oiled mechanism for advertising. And adolescents are a large part of their current and future market. When a person begins smoking at an early age, it is very likely that they will continue to do so into adulthood.

Tobacco propaganda uses myths that overlap within messages with real content. In this way, a young person may believe that nicotine is not harmful in small amounts, or that the consumption of a few cigarettes will not lead to long-term addiction.

Multiple steps have been taken over the past decades to discourage smoking, but they are still not enough. We are facing an industry that moves millions of dollars, and it is not easy to stop it.

Tobacco as a global problem

According to official WHO figures, there are 8 million deaths a year due to smoking. Among them, about 1 million are from smoke exposure from non-smokers.

The problem is also socioeconomic, as shown by the distribution of smokers. 80% of the world’s smokers live in low- or middle-income countries.

World No Tobacco Day highlights that the costs to health systems are enormous in dealing with the complications of nicotine. And this is most evident in those poor countries with deteriorating health systems.

In children and young people, the scourge is worrisome from various aspects. There are tobacco production areas where children are employed as labor, and there they come into contact with nicotine through the skin, directly.

Children also suffer from passive smoking, inhaling deadly smoke that accelerates their risk factors. It is estimated that almost 65,000 children die each year from problems derived from this inhalation.

world day against tobacco and youth

Reveal market strategies on World No Tobacco Day

Tobacco companies use marketing strategies to impose their products. This World No Tobacco Day highlights the convincing effect they have on younger generations.

One technique is to spread messages that pose a low risk of disease from cigarettes. Teens are told that there is no harm in using just one cigarette a day, or that electronic versions are healthy, for example.

Another technique is the advertising image that denotes success. When celebrities or personalities loved by young people smoke, promote the consumption of a brand or show themselves with a cigarette in hand, the message is implicitly transmitted.

The industry has also modified production to be sustained over time and seek to attract adolescents. Flavors similar to chewing gum have been added to tobacco, for example by placing cigarettes on kiosks.

The legal mechanisms of the tobacco companies also play a fundamental role for the sustainability of the companies. Through powerful bodies of lawyers, they discuss national laws that hinder their distribution and sale, delaying preventive measures.

How to Prevent Smoking in Young People

Several steps can be taken by adults to prevent cigarette smoking among teens. World No Tobacco Day urges us to take responsibility for the little ones.

The personal example is the most powerful measure. Both the testimony of former smokers, as well as the family decision not to allow tobacco smoke in the house, are preventive pillars.

The regulation of what children and adolescents see as well. Being able to warn them about the causes that incite consumption and explain that they are deceiving them is a step forward so that they understand manipulation and can face it.

In front of the smoking teenager, do not look away. The recommendation and adult encouragement to quit should be firm. The tobacco control advice has an effectiveness that cannot be underestimated, and its implementation does not require an extra cost for anyone.

Communication on World No Tobacco Day

The World No Tobacco Day of this 2020 intends that we communicate between adults and young people. From this communication a link will emerge that will help us take care of the offensive of smoking. Talking to teens is the best way to protect their health and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

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