11/16/2023 5:17 PM
International No Tobacco Day is traditionally celebrated every third Thursday of November.
The history of celebrating the International No Tobacco Day began in 1971, in the city of Randolph, USA. The American Arthur R. Mullaney convinced his fellow citizens to stop smoking at least for one day. In this way, the citizens saved the funds spent on their daily need for cigarettes, and with them founded a fund for granting scholarships to the local school. In the mid-70s of the last century, the idea of A. Mullaney gained great popularity in the USA, as a result of which in 1977 the American Cancer Society (ACS) announced every third Thursday of November as a day against smoking.
Today, this day is celebrated in many countries around the world and is officially celebrated by the International Union Against Cancer (UICC).
In Bulgaria, 34.5% of the population over the age of 20 are daily smokers (according to preliminary data from the 2020 National Health Risk Factors Survey of the National Institute of Health and Welfare), and smoking, as a health risk factor, leads to cardiovascular , cancer, lung, brain and other serious diseases.
Data obtained in 2020 show that the problem of smoking continues to be relevant even among teenagers. The results of the research show that 26.3% of the respondents have tried smoking cigarettes. Almost every fifth child is a current smoker, with the relative share of girls being slightly higher (17.3% vs. 16.4%). The distribution by age group shows that smoking is much more common among 15-19 year olds (31.4%) than among 10-14 year olds (4.0%). Girls predominate among smokers in both age groups, albeit slightly.
To promote the International No Tobacco Day, the Ministry of Health, together with the Smoke-Free Bulgaria Association, organize the initiative: National Challenge “Let’s win together! One month without nicotine!”.
RZI Pazardzhik joins the initiatives of the Ministry of Health and declares the period from 16.11.2023 to 24.11.2023 as “Week of Open Doors for counseling and quitting smoking”. Any smoker who wants to fight the harmful habit can consult free of charge on phone 034/437 – 247.
Cigarette and hookah use is considered the leading preventable cause of cancer and death. Smoking causes more than 12 types of malignancies, including cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, cervix, colon, and rectum.
Stopping smoking is one of the most important health decisions a person can make to reduce the risk of cancer at any age.