Recognizing the threats posed by smoking tobacco to people’s health, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. signed a proclamation to declare May 31 as the “World No Tobacco Day” in Palau.

World No Tobacco Day is an annual awareness day observed all over the world and it is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987 to highlight the health risks that come with tobacco smoking and as well as to encourage governments to develop initiatives to reduce its use.

Presidential Proclamation 18-227, which was signed by Remengesau on May 25, cited that cardiovascular diseases are the number one causes of death in the country and that smoking is the major contributor of it.

“Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as heart attack and stroke kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide,”

“Target 3.a of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to strengthen implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, an evidence-based Treaty to combat the tobacco use pandemic to which Palau is a Party,” the proclamation stated.

The proclamation also cited that the “prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases in the Pacific is among the highest in the world and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.”

Remengesau, through the proclamation, urged everyone to take part in the observance of No Tobacco Day and as well as join the activities that “amplify messages” about the effects of Tobacco smoking.

On June 1, Friday, a 5K and 10K Walk/Run will be staged as part of the observance of the World No Tobacco Day.

The race will begin by 5:30 a.m. at the Ernguul Central Park and the registration will be by 5 a.m.(Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)