Today is World No Tobacco Day (also popularly known as World Tobacco Day, and Anti Tobacco Day). It is observed worldwide on 31st May every year to encourage tobacco users to abstain from consumption of all forms of tobacco. The primary objective behind observing the day was to enlighten people about the deadly components of tobacco and its repercussions, awareness to draw people’s attention about the negative effects of tobacco.
Seminars and events on World Tobacco Day are organized by health organizations and governments while emphasizing on punch lines and pictures to persuade people to quit consuming tobacco permanently. Creating and distributing brochures, posters, fliers, press releases, websites and videos are also considered an integral part of the World No Tobacco Day. 

In our Islands too, World No Tobacco Day will be celebrated in varied ways with great zeal. DHS and local NGO’s will organize camps and events on this occasion to apprise people of early death and other ill-effects of consuming tobacco.

Consumption of Tobacco in India

• There are almost 275 million tobacco users in India.
• Over one-third of adults (age 15+) use some form of tobacco, including almost half of men (48 percent) and 20 percent of women.
• Among youth (age 13-15), 4 percent smoke cigarettes and almost 12 percent use other types of tobacco products.
• Bidis, cheap hand-rolled cigarettes, are the most popular tobacco product used in India.
• Bidis comprise 48 percent of the tobacco market, chewing tobacco 38 percent and cigarettes 14 percent.
Health consequences: India 

• About 1 million Indians die from tobacco-related diseases each year in India.
• Among youth (age 13-15), 27% are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and 40% are exposed to secondhand smoke in public places.

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey found out that 35 percent of Indian adults use tobacco in some form or the other. Most unfortunately, 35 percent adult Indians use tobacco of which, 80 percent are men and 20 percent women. Of the 35 percent, 26 percent men and women use chewing tobacco and only nine percent smoke cigarettes.
The tobacco users with cancer, 80 percent was caused by chewing tobacco while only 20 percent due to cigarette use as per the survey. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey was the "biggest ever" in India conducted in 28 states and two union territories with technical cooperation from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and full funding by the Indian health ministry.
Tobacco use and smoking are very dangerous addictions which commonly cause a wide variety of diseases, cancer and death. The vast majority of tobacco users and smokers are hooked when they are children. During this time period they are easily influenced by peer pressure and advertising. Once hooked, the majority of tobacco users become hopelessly addicted. 

More than 5 million children living today will die prematurely because of a decision they will make as adolescents---the decision to use tobacco and smoke cigarettes. Our Islands are also not so far behind in this list. Tobacco use(pan) is very common in our Islands and children starts consuming tobacco from very tender age ignoring its ill effect. A massive awareness drive is required for sensitizing people about the ill effects associated with the consumption of tobacco products. Adolescent use of smokeless tobacco is constantly on the rise, with some users starting when they are only nine or ten years old. 
World No Tobacco day is only a day, an opportunity and no different than yesterday or tomorrow, what’s important is to take a positive decision towards quitting tobacco. This decision won’t be that difficult. Lets hope for zero tobacco users in our islands.