The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) and the Ministry of Health in conjunction with supporting national and international health partners celebrated World No Tobacco Day on Friday, May 31, 2013. This year it was celebrated under the theme, “Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.”
To commemorate the day, the NDACC conducted public education and awareness activities across the country that will highlight the harmful effects of tobacco, second-hand smoking and also share information on smoking intervention program.
The NDACC offices across the country – San Pedro Town, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, San Ignacio and Corozal all had informational booths. During this year’s activities, the NDACC will also have an opportunity to survey participants in the areas of smoking and the types of events where smoking is practiced in an effort to build support in the area of policy development and the creation of smoke free spaces.
Since 2010, the NDACC has undertaken the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of initiatives for the reduction of the consumption of tobacco and second hand smoking. The month of May is annually dedicated to activities designed specifically for the promotion of No Tobacco Awareness.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates that worldwide, 78% of young people aged 13-15 years report regular exposure to some form of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship. Bans are one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco consumption, with countries that have introduced bans showing a 7% average reduction in tobacco consumption.