Smokers try to quit on World No Tobacco Day

Thursday is the 25th anniversary of World No Tobacco Day, and a new study shows such events actually impact some people’s decision to quit.

News promoting cessation and Internet search queries on cessation spiked as much as 84 percent on this day during the six years of the study, conducted by the Informatics Program at Children's Hospital Boston and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers were surprised at the level of interest in the day, an initiative of the World Health Organization.

“We generally think of New Year's Day as the peak time when media encourages quitting and smokers want to quit,” said senior analyst and Bloomberg doctoral candidate Benjamin Althouse, in a statement. “World No Tobacco Day spikes, however, often out-sized New Year's increases, like a second-chance quitting resolution.”

The day appears to serve as a reminder and inspiration in the low and middle-income countries where the research was conducted for the study, results of which are published in the May-June issue of Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Almost six million people die globally from tobacco each year, researchers said.

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