Health & Wellbeing
JAM | May 31, 2023

It’s World No Tobacco Day

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today (May 31) health officials and health organizations globally are unifying their voices in a public campaign dubbed World No Tobacco Day, geared towards highlighting the harmful impacts of tobacco use.

The day is being observed as World No Tobacco Day which was initiated by the World Health Organziation (WHO) in 1987.

This year, the day is being celebrated under the theme “Grow food, not tobacco”, a call for tobacco farmers to grow nutritious group to nourish the global population instead of tobacco which does more harm to smokers than good.

Tobacco cultivation is a major threat to the ecosystem and contributes to soil degradation because of the use of harmful pesticides and fertilisers.

According to WHO, across the globe around 3.5 million hectares of land are converted for tobacco growing each year. Growing tobacco also contributes to deforestation of 200 000 hectares each year.

Tobacco cultivation not only harms the environment but also impacts the health and wellbeing of smokers. Studies have shown that tobacco use contribute to health complications such as lung disease, heart disease, immune system disorder and diabetes.

According to WHO’s data tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Tobacco use does more harm than good to the global population. Tobacco smokers, the time is now to throw away those cigarettes and take deliberate actions towards achieving a healthy lifestyle for you and the future generation.

Five ways to quit tobacco use

Making the decision to quit tobacco use or smoking in general is the easiest part of the journey, however it will not be a quick and easy process because your body will take some time to adjust to the addiction of smoking cigarettes.

Our Today has some helpful tips to help you say goodbye to tobacco use:

  • Discard cigarettes, e-cigarettes and ashtrays
  • Inform friends and family that you are making the decision to quit smoking so they can offer you the support needed. Ask them not to smoke around you to prevent a relapse.
  • Speak to a counsellor to receive support and tips to break your cigarette addiction
  • Speak to other persons who have given up smoking about their journey and the step they have taken to overcome their cigarette addiction. While what works for one individual may not be the best option for another, there is no harm in trying.
  • Find other ways to break the urge to smoke a cigarette for example find other alternatives such as eating a candy, drinking a glass of water or nictotene replacement products.

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