The following is an extract taken from our forthcoming book titled The Real Truth about Smoking, Vaping and Tobacco.
Do we all know about World No Tobacco Day?
Do we know it has been going since 1988?
Do we know the facts about Tobacco?
Do we know the harm Tobacco is causing?
Do we know how huge the Tobacco industry is?
What does all this mean to us on the street?
Are we ready to learn the real Truth about Tobacco?
The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. (1)
WHY is tobacco such a huge threat to the public?
What are we campaigning about this year?
How do we go about taking ‘intensified action’?
Is this type of action going to change anything long-term?
Are we coming up with new ways because we have to do something?
Are we fighting but in truth, not really going anywhere?
Are we employing the same old stuff with new agendas?
Are we coming up with strategies and plans but not making much difference?
Are we being honest that we cannot control the threat of tobacco?
Are our current goals going to make any difference to this global epidemic?
Are our contributions globally really changing anything?
One of the goals for the 2017 campaign is to demonstrate how individuals can contribute by making a sustainable, tobacco-free world by committing to never taking up tobacco products or by quitting the habit.
Well is it that easy?
How come many simply cannot kick the habit?
How do we get past our addictive nature and knock out harmfull substances?
Have we bothered to really study those who are addicted to tobacco?
Do we know why they started taking the stuff in the first place?
Do we need to spend our resources and efforts asking valuable questions?
Are we too busy looking for solutions but not getting to the root cause?
Are we aware that most of us replace one addiction with another?
7 million people die from tobacco use every year.
8 million predicted by 2030. (2)
4.3 million hectares of land, used for growing tobacco each year.
2 – 4% global deforestation every year.
Tobacco growing requires large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, which can be toxic and pollute water supplies.
2 million tons – amount solid waste tobacco manufacturing produces. (2)
World No Tobacco Day is celebrated around the world every year on 31 May.
According to the official website, this yearly celebration informs the public on –
Dangers of using tobacco
Business practices of Tobacco companies
What WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic
What people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations. (3)
How many of us know what true health is?
How many of us are choosing to live healthy?
How many of us have different meanings for the word ‘health’?
How healthy are our younger generations today?
How are we raising our kids when it comes to healthy living?
How responsible are we regarding protecting future generations?
So, what are we actually celebrating after 30 years of campaigning?
What has been going on for the past three decades?
1988 Tobacco or Health: Choose Health
1989 Women and Tobacco: The Female Smoker: at Added Risk
1990 Childhood and Youth without Tobacco: Growing Up Without Tobacco
1991 Public Places and Transport: Better be Tobacco Free
1992 Tobacco Free Workplaces: Safer and Healthier
1993 Health Services: Our Windows to a Tobacco Free World
1994 Media and Tobacco: Get the Message Across
1995 Tobacco Costs More Than You Think
1996 Sport and Art without Tobacco: Play it Tobacco Free
1997 United for a Tobacco Free World
1998 Growing up without Tobacco
1999 Leave the Pack Behind
2000 Tobacco Kills, Don’t be Duped
2001 Second-Hand Smoke Kills
2002 Tobacco Free Sports
2003 Tobacco Free Film, Tobacco Free Fashion
2004 Tobacco and Poverty: A Vicious Circle
2005 Health Professionals against Tobacco
2006 Tobacco: Deadly in any Form or Disguise
2007 Smoke Free Inside
2008 Tobacco-Free Youth
2009 Tobacco Health Warnings
2010 Gender and Tobacco with an Emphasis on Marketing to Women
2011 The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
2012 Tobacco Industry Interference
2013 Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship
2014 Raise Taxes on Tobacco
2015 Stop Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products
2016 Get Ready for Plain Packaging
2017 Tobacco – a Threat to Development (3)
What is Tobacco?
Concise Oxford English Dictionary tells us –
A preparation of the dried and fermented nicotine-rich leaves of an American plant, used for smoking or chewing. (4)
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth edition
Tobacco Use Disorder
Other Tobacco-Induced Disorders
Unspecified Tobacco-Related Disorder
Tobacco Use Disorder
A problematic pattern of tobacco use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of the following, occurring within a 12-month period:
1. Tobacco is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
2. There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control tobacco use.
3. A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain or use tobacco.
4. Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use tobacco.
5. Recurrent tobacco use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., interference at work).
6. Continued tobacco use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of tobacco (e.g., arguments with others about tobacco use).
7. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of tobacco use.
8. Recurrent tobacco use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., smoking in bed).
9. Tobacco use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by tobacco.
10. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
a. A need for markedly increased amounts of tobacco to achieve the desired effect.
b. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of tobacco.
11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
a. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for tobacco (refer to Criteria A and B or the criteria set for tobacco withdrawal).
b. Tobacco (or a closely related substance, such as nicotine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
A. Daily use of tobacco for at least several weeks.
B. Abrupt cessation of tobacco use, or reduction in the amount of tobacco used, followed within 24 hours by four (or more) of the following signs or symptoms:
1. Irritability, frustration, or anger.
3. Difficulty concentrating.
4. Increased appetite.
6. Depressed mood.
C. The signs or symptoms in Criterion B cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
D. The signs or symptoms are not attributed to another medical condition and are not better explained by another mental disorder, including intoxication or withdrawal from another substance.
Withdrawal symptoms impair the ability to stop tobacco use. The symptoms after abstinence from tobacco are in large part due to nicotine deprivation. Symptoms are much more intense among individuals who smoke cigarettes or use smokeless tobacco than among those who use nicotine medications. This difference in symptom intensity is likely due to the more rapid onset and higher levels of nicotine with cigarette smoking. Tobacco withdrawal is common among daily tobacco users who stop or reduce but can also occur among nondaily users. Typically, heart rate decreases by 5-12 beats per minute in the first few days after stopping smoking, and weight increases an average of 2-3 kg over the first year after stopping smoking.
Tobacco withdrawal can produce clinically significant mood changes and functional impairment.
Associated Features Supporting Diagnosis
Craving for sweet or sugary foods and impaired performance on tasks requiring vigilance are associated with tobacco withdrawal. Abstinence can increase constipation, coughing, dizziness, dreaming/nightmares, nausea, and sore throat. Smoking increases the metabolism of many medications used to treat mental disorders; thus, cessation of smoking can increase the blood levels of these medications, and this can produce clinically significant outcomes. This effect appears to be due not to nicotine but rather to other compounds in tobacco.
Other Tobacco-Induced Disorders
Tobacco-induced sleep disorder.
So here we have the kingpins who wrote the book – American Psychiatric Association telling us what the real harm of Tobacco is.
Taken word for word from the manual, we can say that coming off tobacco is not easy.
For those who do, check out the symptoms above that may occur and again it confirms why it is so hard to come off any substance that is addictive.
How many of us then go from one addiction to another?
How many of us give up smoking but need the nicotine in another form?
How many of us are aware that we have become so dependent on this drug?
How many of us can admit that tobacco is a mind-altering substance?
How many of us know someone who gives up fags and moves onto something else?
How many of us are honest enough to say we get the sugar munchies if we stop smoking?
How many of us go from chewing tobacco to constantly wanting to chew non-stop?
How many of us realise that tobacco is seriously affecting our mind and body?
There is much more to read and research about this subject and it would be a dis-service to present one article in the form of a blog and leave it at that.
There is more to report and present on the Real Truth about Tobacco – Part 2
31 May 2018.
(1) (2017, May). Tobacco – Fact Sheet. World Health Organization. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
(2) World No Tobacco Day, 31 May 2017. World Health Organization. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
(3) (n.d). World No Tobacco Day. World Health Organization. Retrieved May 25, 2017 from
(4) Concise Oxford English Dictionary – Twelfth Edition. Oxford University Press. 2011