Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
The focus of is on “Tobacco – threat to our environment.”
The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing adding unnecessary pressure to our planet’s already scarce resources and fragile ecosystems. Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year and destroys our environment, further harming human health, through the cultivation, production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumer waste.
Tobacco growing, manufacturing and use poison our water, soil, beaches and city streets with chemicals, toxic waste, cigarette butts, including micro plastics, and e-cigarette waste.
Give tobacco users an extra reason to quit. Support policy action around ban on single use plastics which include cigarette butts, smokeless tobacco pouches and electronic waste. Raise awareness of the tobacco industry’s green washing tactics. Support governments on additional levies/taxes on industry to protect the environment
Using any kind of tobacco product is unsafe, especially for kids, teens, and young adults. But worldwide, at least 14 million young people age 13 to 15 currently use tobacco products, according to CDC’s 2006-2017 Global Youth Tobacco Survey. Tobacco companies, meanwhile, spend billions of dollars every year on marketing tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, e-cigarettes, and others.
Harmful effect of cigarettes
Since 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO) has used World No Tobacco Day external icon to highlight the harmful effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products on a person’s overall health. This year, WHO is focusing on preventing youth tobacco product use and the tobacco industry’s attempts to attract youth.
Using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe for young people. Tobacco products—including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and most e-cigarettes—contain nicotine, which is an addictive drug. Being exposed to nicotine can also harm brain development, which continues through the teen years and up to age 25. Exposure to nicotine during these important years can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.
Targeting Young People
The younger a person starts using tobacco products, the more likely they are to become dependent on nicotine. The tobacco industry uses this information to attract youth and young people to their products through ads and sponsor ships in stores, online, in media, and at cultural events.
The Danger of E-Cigarettes for Youth
Since 2014, most U.S. youth who said they had ever used tobacco products reported using e-cigarettes, and the percentage has grown over time. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, and newer e-cigarettes use a new form of it called nicotine salts, which make it easier to inhale higher levels of nicotine.
Quitting Resources for Youth
In 2019, more than half of current youth tobacco product users in the U.S. reported that they were seriously thinking about quitting the use of all tobacco products. Quitting as soon as possible is the healthiest choice for mind and body.