Like other parts of the globe, World No Tobacco Day will also be observed in Pakistan on May 31st (Monday) to create awareness among masses about the health hazard effects of smoking and medical complications related to the use of tobacco items. In Pakistan, 19 percent of people, over the age of 15 years use tobacco in any form, and tobacco kills 118,000 people in the country every year besides having Rs 615 billion smoking-related illness cost per annum. The country has placed a complete ban on advertisements of tobacco and tobacco-related products. The sale of loose cigarettes is prohibited as well as the display of banners and placards of cigarette brands at the point of sale while selling cigarettes near an educational institution is outlawed. Pakistan made a commitment in 2005, when it signed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), to reduce tobacco consumption and ensure the right of people to the highest standards of health. Globally, the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than eight million people a year around the world. More than seven million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. All forms of tobacco are harmful, and there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco. Cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use worldwide. Other tobacco products include waterpipe tobacco, various smokeless tobacco products, cigars, cigarillos, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis, and kreteks. According to WHO, waterpipe tobacco use is damaging to health in similar ways to cigarette tobacco use. However, the health dangers of waterpipe tobacco use are often little understood by users. Smokeless tobacco use is highly addictive and damaging to health. Smokeless tobacco contains many cancer-causing toxins and its use increases the risk of cancers of the head, neck, throat, oesophagus, and oral cavity (including cancer of the mouth, tongue, lip and gums) as well as various dental diseases. Over 80% of the 1.3 billion tobacco users worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. Tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending from basic needs such as food and shelter to tobacco. WHO said that second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water pipes. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, which causes more than 1.2 million premature deaths per year and serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Almost half of the children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke in public places, and 65,000 die each year from illnesses attributable to second-hand smoke. In infants, it raises the risk of sudden infant death syndrome while in pregnant women, it causes pregnancy complications and low birth weight. It said that smoke-free laws protect the health of non-smokers and are popular, as they do not harm business and they encourage smokers to quit. It said that large pictorial or graphic health warnings, including plain packaging, with hard-hitting messages, can persuade smokers to protect the health of non-smokers by not smoking inside the home, increase compliance with smoke-free laws and encourage more people to quit tobacco use. Studies show that pictorial warnings significantly increase people’s awareness of the harms of tobacco use. Mass media campaigns can also reduce the demand for tobacco by promoting the protection of non-smokers and by convincing people to stop using tobacco, it added. It said that comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship can reduce tobacco consumption. WHO said that tobacco taxes are the most cost-effective way to reduce tobacco use and health care costs, especially among youth and low-income people, while increasing revenue in many countries. The tax increases need to be high enough to push prices up above income growth. An increase of tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and about 5% in low- and middle-income countries. Studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. However, when smokers become aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Without cessation support only 4% of attempts to quit tobacco will succeed while professional support and proven cessation medications can more than double a tobacco user’s chance of successful quitting. The illicit trade in tobacco products poses major health, economic, and security concerns around the world. It is estimated that one in every 10 cigarettes and tobacco products consumed globally is illicit.