World No Tobacco Day 2022
“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.” – Brooke Shields
On 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) every year. It was created in 1987 by Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) 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. Since then, this day is observed every year with a relevant theme.
As per WHO, “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.”
Theme of World No Tobacco Day 2022
The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2022 is “Protect the environment”, focusing on the idea that throughout its lifecycle, tobacco pollutes the planet and damages the health of all people.
Every year, the theme of WNTD addresses a specific issue related to tobacco and its industry.
This year, the theme focuses on the harmful effect of tobacco on the environment and envisages exposing efforts by tobacco companies to “greenwash” their reputation by marketing themselves as environmentally friendly.
Discarded cigarette butts represent the first source of plastic pollution in the world, while the use of pesticides to grow tobacco plants as well as deforestation (3.5 million hectares of land destroyed each year) and the use of large amounts of water to cultivate tobacco, damaging ecosystems and reducing climate resilience. Tobacco companies also contribute 84 megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to greenhouse gases.
“Tobacco is the only industry that produces products to make huge profits and at the same time damage the health and kill their consumers.” – Margaret Chan