World No Tobacco Day

Posted 30th May 2019 by Dave Cross
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is promoting this year’s World No Tobacco Day by asking people “why you don't waste a breath on tobacco and tell us what takes your breath away”. International health “experts” will be celebrating by attending a conference in Pretoria, hoping to influence South Africa’s anti-vaping draft Control of Tobacco and Electronic Delivery Systems Bill.

WNTD takes place every year, on May 31st. The annual campaign aims to raise awareness about “the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and discourages the use of tobacco in any form.”

WHO writes: “Making the most out of life requires strong, healthy lungs—so that beautiful, active, happy experiences can take your breath away. And this year's theme, ‘Tobacco and Lung Health’, will also highlight the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.”

“We invite you to be the voice of this campaign by sharing your favourite breath-taking moments and activities on social media, and telling the world why these take your breath away, instead of tobacco.”

This year, the WHO want you to upload your photo to their website “and invite your friends to do the same”. Then, “take a photo or a 10 to 15-second video” showing something that takes your breath away, and pop it on your social media accounts with a WHO-approved hashtag.

The primary aim of the event is to highlight the “risks posed by tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke exposure”. Consequently, what might take the breath away from many onlookers is that the WHO still fails to understand and promote vaping as a means to reduce tobacco-related harm.

Hopes that this position could change anytime soon will take a knock in South Africa at “The war on tobacco - moving the battle lines forward” conference – a country that has been “waging a war” on vaping. By treating ecigs the same as tobacco, it is attempting to ban vaping from all enclosed and many open public spaces.

Some may wonder if there is any point to the WHO’s ‘Breath Away’ campaign, will it get any engagement – and if so will it actually influence anybody?

Cornwall Council thinks it has a better way forward, and will be “celebrating” WNTD with a free bouncy castle in Bodmin.

Families unable to resist the lure of watching their children smash their heads into other children will also be able to avail themselves of the “Healthy Lifestyle stand” and the “Trading Standards illegal tobacco awareness stand”.

Thrilling stuff.

If this sounds like your cup of tea then you’d better be quick, “The fun kicks off at 11am, finishes at 1pm”.


  • WHO’s “What should take your breath away? #NeverTobacco” – [link]
  • Tickets for “The war on tobacco – moving the battle lines forward” – [link]
  • More fun in Bodmin than you can shake a stick at – [link]


 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker