Tobacco is a trillion dollar industry and it has reached every coordinate of the globe. The history of tobacco dates back to 1400 BC, when it was cultivated in parts of the Americas and Mexico. Since then, it has seen a rapid growth in terms of its use and spread around the world. But in the mid nineteenth century, extensive researches in medical field made it clear that tobacco is not a recreational benign substance but rather a dangerous health epidemic. Tobacco use leads to a high risk factor for many morbid health conditions related to heart, liver, and lungs. Its use in any form is one of the major reasons that lead to a horrifying health nick of a cancer. Tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. In 2008, the World Health Organization named tobacco use as the world’s single greatest preventable cause of death.
Every year, on 31st May, we celebrate World No Tobacco Day. An estimated 1.1 billion people, and up to one-third of the adult population of the world, use tobacco in some form today. The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. This year’s theme is ‘protecting youth’. It is vital to provide young people with the knowledge required to easily detect industry manipulation and equip them with the tools to rebuff such tactics, thereby empowering young people to stand up against them. This is especially important right now as studies show that smokers have a higher risk for a severe case of coronavirus. Industrial manipulation of the younger generation to attract them towards tobacco use and smoking isn’t a new phenomenon. Culturally, smoking has been in past associated with symbols of masculinity and power. Tobacco companies advertise their brads via sponsorship of sporting events targeting youth. To attract younger generation, new flavours of cigarettes that are appealing to children are regularly added to the shelf. In reality, the horrors of morbidity and mortality are the actual pictures of tobacco use. It is now upon us to save ourselves and to save our youth from falling into a prognosis of future doom. It is now upon us to stand up against this gigantic industrial and economical conundrum and raise our voice to prevent the spread of this deranged wretchedness. It is now upon us to take a pledge to do our best and contribute all we can towards an endeavour of a ‘tobacco-free generation’.