Home Public Health World No Tobacco Day 2021: Commit to quit


The World No Tobacco Day is celebrated each year on May 31. It was initiated in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.

In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a “a world no-smoking day.” In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.


  • 2020 – Protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use
  • 2019 – Tobacco and lung health
  • 2018 – Tobacco and heart disease
  • 2017 – Tobacco – a threat to development
  • 2016 – Get ready for plain packaging
  • 2015 – Stop illicit trade of tobacco products
  • 2014 – Raise taxes on tobacco
  • 2013 – Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
  • 2012 – Tobacco industry interference
  • 2011 – The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control
  • 2010 – Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women
  • 2009 – Tobacco health warnings
  • 2008 – Tobacco-free youth
  • 2007 – Smoke free inside
  • 2006 – Tobacco: deadly in any form or disguise
  • 2005 – Health professionals against tobacco
  • 2004 – Tobacco and poverty, a vicious circle
  • 2003 – Tobacco free film, tobacco free fashion
  • 2002 – Tobacco free sports
  • 2001 – Second-hand smoke kills
  • 2000 – Tobacco kills, don’t be duped
  • 1999 Leave the pack behind
  • 1998 Growing up without tobacco
  • 1997 United for a tobacco free world
  • 1996 Sport and art without tobacco: play it tobacco free
  • 1995 Tobacco costs more than you think
  • 1994 Media and tobacco: get the message across
  • 1993 Health services: our windows to a tobacco free world
  • 1992 Tobacco free workplaces: safer and healthier
  • 1991 Public places and transport: better be tobacco free
  • 1990 Childhood and youth without tobacco: growing up without tobacco
  • 1989 Women and tobacco: the female smoker: at added risk
  • 1988 Tobacco or Health: choose health


Theme 2021: Commit to quit

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users wanting to quit. However, quitting tobacco is challenging, especially with the added social and economic stresses brought about by the pandemic.

Worldwide, around 780 million people say they want to quit, but only 30% of them have access to the tools that can help them to overcome both physical and mental addictions to tobacco. Together with partners, WHO will provide people with the tools and resources they need to make a successful attempt at quitting.

Quitting tobacco has major and immediate health benefits

There are immediate and long-term health benefits to quitting tobacco. After just 20 minutes of quitting smoking, the heart rate drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal. Within 2–12 weeks, the circulation improves and lung function increases. Within 1–9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Within 5–15 years, the stroke risk is reduced to that of a non-smoker. Within 10 years, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker. Within 15 years, the risk of heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

Source of Info: WHO, WHO EURO

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