The tobacco plant has high levels of the addictive chemical “nicotine”. Leaves of the tobacco plant are processed to make cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and powder. The top 10 tobacco-producing nations are China, India, the USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Argentina, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Pakistan. Tobacco smoke is directly linked to many types of cancers and multiple respiratory diseases. World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on 31 May annually to raise public awareness about the side effects of tobacco use and cultivation.
What is the Theme of World No Tobacco Day 2022?
The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2022 is “Protect the environment”. It highlights how tobacco pollutes the earth and damages people’s health throughout its whole life cycle. Every year, the theme of World No Tobacco Day addresses a specific issue related to tobacco and its industry. The annual campaign is a chance to raise awareness of the deadly and harmful tobacco use and negative health effects of second-hand smoke exposure, and to prevent the use of tobacco in any form.
Discarded cigarette butts create plastic pollution. Use of pesticides to grow tobacco, deforestation (3.5 million hectares of land destroyed each year), use of a large amount of water to cultivate tobacco, ecosystem damage and global warming, and cancers are concerning and directly caused by tobacco production and consumption.
Aim of World No Tobacco Day 2022
- The campaign aims to raise awareness among the public on the environmental impact of tobacco(from cultivation, production, and distribution to waste management), giving tobacco users an extra reason to quit.
- It aims to reduce the worldwide diseases and deaths caused by tobacco consumption.
- To expose efforts by tobacco companies to “greenwash” their reputation by marketing themselves as environmentally friendly.
- Reducing tobacco consumption needs and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, related to health and the environment.
- The campaign calls on policymakers, and governments to set some rules, implement them, and strengthen existing systems to make tobacco producers (industries) responsible for tobacco product waste at the cost of the environment and economy.
- Over 8 million people are killed every year due to the use of tobacco. And, this figure is expected to rise to over 8 million by 2030. The Sustainable Development Agenda aims to reduce deaths from tobacco-related diseases by a third.
History of World No Tobacco Day
The Member States of the World Health Organization formed World No Tobacco Day in 1987 due to the global tobacco crisis, deaths, and diseases in its consumption. The World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38 in 1987, deciding April 7 to be “World No-Smoking Day.” And, next Resolution WHA42.19 was passed in 1988, issuing 31 May as an annual observance of World No Tobacco Day. In 2008, the WHO banned any type of advertisement promoting tobacco.
Some Deadly Facts of Tobacco
- Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, out of which 70 chemicals are known to induce cancer
- Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world
- 600,000,000 trees are chopped down to make cigarettes
- 84,000,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide are released into the air raising global warming
- 22,000,000,000 liters of water is wasted to make cigarettes
- Over 8 million people are killed every year due to the use of tobacco
- Smoking cuts 13 years from your life expectancy on average, but if you have HIV also, that number will increase to 16 years
- China is home to approx 300 million smokers who consume three million cigarettes/ minute. One of every three cigarette smokers resides in China
- Smoking 1 cigarette reduces 11 minutes of your life
- Smoking affects fertility
Tobacco companies are most active in marketing their products in low-income to middle-income nations, targeting economically poor citizens, thus concentrating up to 90% of tobacco products in these regions. All such factors lead to the highest environmental burden.
Quit Tobacco to Save Lives and Our Planet
Every cigarette smoked or tobacco used in any form wastes precious resources on which our existence depends. Tobacco smoke contributes to elevated air pollution and contains three types of greenhouse gasses.
For the health of humanity and our earth, say no to tobacco and refuse the consumption and production of tobacco. So, let’s unite to use World No Tobacco Day 2022 as a launching pad to a hopeful and less smokey future!