South Eastern Europe Health Network (SEEHN) celebrates the # No Tobacco Day to raise awareness on the importance of the protection of the new generations in the SEE Health Network – 9 Member States.

Every year, WHO recognizes individuals or organizations in each of the six WHO Regions for their accomplishments in the area of tobacco control. This recognition takes the form of WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award and World No Tobacco Day Awards.

This year among the European Region awardees, is Dr Ghenadie Turcanu, program coordinator, Center for Health Policies and Studies, Republic of Moldova.

SEEHN is congratulating and recognizing the champions in the SEE Region that are role models in the tobacco control area.

Tobacco products kill more than 8 million people every year. Tobacco use is responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths globally. Use of nicotine and tobacco products increases the risk for cancer, cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. Over 1 million people die from second-hand smoke exposure every year.

It needs also to be highlighted that the third- hand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. People are exposed to these chemicals by touching contaminated surfaces or breathing in the off-gassing from these surfaces. This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix including cancer causing compounds, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers — especially children.

Tobacco and related industries’ target children and adolescents by using market tactics that include:

  • Over 15,000 flavors, most of which attract children and adolescents
  • Social media influencers in marketing
  • Sponsor events and parties
  • School scholarships
  • Sleek, sexy designs
  • Product placement in entertainment media
  • Free product samples
  • Single stick cigarettes that make addiction more affordable
  • Sell products at eye level for children
  • Product placement and advertising near schools

SEE Health Network has the dream of tobacco free generations, decrease of second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke and the deaths and diseases that they cause. This is a quest for all public health professionals around the Region through enforcement of the anti-tobacco legislation and strong mechanisms of implementation and control.

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