Every hour, $1 million is spent in the United States on tobacco marketing. And every year, six million people die from diseases caused by smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.

Luckily, there's World No Tobacco Day on May 31st, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO estimates that if patterns of tobacco use do not change, upwards of eight million people will die every year due to the effects of tobacco use by the year 2030.

World No Tobacco Day was established in 1987 to draw attention to the health risks of tobacco use and how they can be avoided. A treaty, entitled the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, was adopted in 2003 by the World Health Assembly. The treaty was written and enacted to reduce public demand for tobacco products by disseminating information, readily available to all, on the potential harms and addictive effects of tobacco.

The treaty commits itself to protecting public health globally and requires all countries who sell tobacco to provide this vital information about the effects of tobacco to all consumers. The treaty has also been responsible for enforcing mass media to purvey anti-tobacco messages. This treaty works alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Tips from Former Smokers campaign and the toll-free quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, also run by the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health.

CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlights the progress WHO and the CDC have made. Findings in the CDC's Global Adult Tobacco Survey indicate that due to antismoking campaigns in mass media, along with increased awareness of tobacco's health risks, more people have quit smoking, or stated the intention to quit, across 17 countries. Of the 265,500 respondents to the survey, about 20 percent said they were smokers, and nearly 30 percent of smoking respondents said they intended to quit smoking.

More than half of the surveyed smokers also admitted to awareness of antismoking information they had seen in mass media. One in four got their information from mass media antismoking campaigns on either television, the radio, billboards, or print media. Similarly, all smoking respondents said they had noticed antismoking information in all four forms of media in the last 30 days. Of note, more than 80 percent of smokers got their information from television advertisements.

The survey did not account for taxes on tobacco products or price gouging that may occur elsewhere. For example, the local and federal taxes on tobacco products in New York City have increased to about $6. When this is added to the standard price of a package of cigarettes, the average cost can be anywhere between $9 and $14. Comparable trends are seen across the United States, with the lowest state excise tax on cigarettes being $0.34 in the state of Georgia.

While these taxes may help with federal budget deficits, there is no denying that a $14 pack of cigarettes would deter smokers from feeding their habit and encourage them to quit. This is inadvertently in compliance with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco since it does not provide much information about why people should not smoke, but still reduces public demand by pricing out those consumers who simply cannot afford the indulgence any more.

January 2014 will mark the 50th anniversary of the first report linking smoking to lung cancer. As a tribute to the progress made regarding antismoking campaigns, the Surgeon General will release a new report on smoking and health, releasing new findings on the health effects of smoking and delineating how best to end the enduring epidemic of preventable tobacco-related deaths and diseases.