May 31 – World No Tobacco Day


May 31 is the World No Tobacco Day, and the aim is to create awareness on tobacco-related deaths and diseases.

In Norway today about 1 out of 10 smokes daily. The consumption of tobacco is falling. Smokers quickly develop addiction, both physically and mentally.

After a few years of smoking, changes occur in blood vessels with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, and in the respiratory tract with increased risk of cancer. The tar substances in the urinary tract increase the risk of bladder cancer as well.

Adverse effects of smoking can be demonstrated by regular clinical examinations, possibly with supplemental blood tests and X-ray examinations of airways.

Smoking cessation is best achieved by own motivation. Use of nicotine replacement drugs or drugs is useful if it is difficult to quit.

Smoking Cessation Statistics:

  • About 3 out of 4 smokers have tried to quit at least once
  • Approximately 1 in 3 manage to end smoking on the first attempt, 1 of 3 on second attempt. The rest on the 3 or more attempts
  • More than four out of five (85%) regret that they started smoking

Harmful Effects:

  • The tar substances in the tobacco are the main cause of the greatly increased incidence of cancerous diseases
  • Nicotine has also harmful effects on the body. It provides over time decreased blood supply to the body’s organs and can increase the risk of cancer development
  • The most serious adverse effects appear only after 30 years of continued consumption

Illness linked to smoking:

  • About 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking
  • Smoking is also a contributing factor to oral cancer, throat, lip, tongue, throat, esophagus, urinary bladder, cervix and pancreas.
  • Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular diseases: heart attack, angina snd stroke
  • Women come earlier during menopause and are more prone to osteoporosis.
  • The risk of thigh fractures is significantly increased for one who smokes
  • Skin and other organs age faster in people who smoke
  • Smoking is a major contributor factor to chronic bronchitis, emphysema and other infectious diseases


  • Among young people who start smoking and continue with it, 1/2 die of diseases caused by smoking
  • Smoking takes far more lives than alcohol, drugs, car accidents, fires, murders, suicide, and AIDS altogether
  • 25% of heart attacks could have been avoided if smoking did not occur in the first place

Health effects of smoking cessation:

  • Clear improvement of anxiety, depression and stress-related ailments in people who stop smoking compared to still smokes
  • Ex-smokers “eventually” get the same death risk as people who have never smoked
  • The risk of dying from lung cancer decreases in ex-smokers, compared to smokers
    • After about 5 years, the risk is more than halved
    • 15 years after you quit smoking, your risk of getting lung cancer is about the same as in non-smokers
    • If it is over 5 years since smoking cessation, the risk of dying from a heart attack is the same as if you had never smoked!

Source: Norges Elektroniske Legehåndbok (NEL)