The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government agency under the Ministry of Public Health is busy making preparations to observe World No Tobacco Day which is observed on May 31. The schedule will be released later this week.
The global theme is "Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship." However, Sint Maarten has chosen the slogan of, "Be Smart, Don’t Start. Want to Quit, Do it."
The aforementioned local slogan is in line with Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour’s Hon. Cornelius de Weever’s "Get Checked" campaign where the emphasis is on prevention.
The Minister is of the opinion if you don’t start smoking your health will be better than if you were a smoker, and therefore keeping you away from a host of diseases caused by smoking.
World No Tobacco Day is part of CPS calendar of observances. The aim is to promote health related issues and topics during a designated time of the year.
May 31 is observed around the world to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is seen as a global epidemic which kills six million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second hand smoke.
The WHO added that this epidemic will kill more than eight million people every year by 2030 if countries decide to do nothing.
WHO estimates that more than 80 per cent of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low and middle income countries.