By Veronica Perez, MPH, CHES
Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions
Did you know that tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and other health problems? Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death and disease, causing over seven million deaths each year worldwide (ACS, 2018).
Since 1987, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global partners, celebrate World No Tobacco Day on May 31, each year. World No Tobacco Day is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of tobacco use and urge government leaders to adopt policies to protect against tobacco. The purpose of this annual campaign is to increase awareness about the dangers of tobacco use and encourage people to stop using tobacco products.
According to the WHO, World No Tobacco Day 2019 will focus its campaign on raising awareness in the following areas:
- Risks of tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke exposure
- Awareness of the dangers of tobacco smoking to lung health
- Global impact of death and illness from lung diseases caused by tobacco, including chronic respiratory diseases and lung cancer
- Emerging evidence on the link between tobacco smoking and tuberculosis deaths
- Implications of second-hand exposure for lung health of people across age groups
- Importance of lung health to achieving overall health and well-being
- Feasible actions and measures that key audiences can take to reduce the risks to lung health posed by tobacco
You can play a key part in advancing the goals of World No Tobacco Day by sharing information about the dangers of tobacco use with friends, family and loved ones. You can also provide support and referrals to resources to people who choose to quit tobacco. In addition, you can advocate for policies to create smoke-free public places, workplaces and public transportation. And finally, you can support increased taxes on tobacco products to make them less affordable.
Together, we can take action to promote our own health and protect our communities from the dangers of tobacco.
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- World Health Organization. (2019). World No Tobacco Day. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2019/05/31/default-calendar/world-no-tobacco-day
- American Cancer Society. (2018). World No Tobacco Day. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/world-no-tobacco-day.html