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World No Tobacco Day: Tobacco, a Threat to the Environment

World No Tobacco Day is an annual event organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 31st of each year (WHO). It raises awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco and its business on human health and the environment, as well as the efforts people may take to protect themselves and the environment from tobacco.

World No Tobacco Day 2022: Theme

According to the UNEP website, this year’s World No Tobacco Day topic is “Tobacco: Threat to our Environment.” Tobacco has a negative impact on the health of millions of individuals around the world as well as the environment.

Over 8 Million People Lose Their Lives Due to Tobacco

To commemorate ‘World No Tobacco Day,’ the United Nations stated that tobacco usage kills more than 8 million people each year. The World Health Organization has also stated that 600,000,000 trees are cut down, 84,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide is discharged into the atmosphere, and 22,000,000,000 tonnes of water is used up.
According to the WHO, tobacco usage has a negative influence on the environment around the world. The World Health Organization states in a fact sheet that it is linked to large-scale deforestation and biodiversity loss, especially wildlife. It is also responsible for “exhaustion of fossil fuel and metal resources” in addition to depletion of the planet’s water. “Desertification and soil fertility depletion,” it claims.
Among the issues are “exuberant emission of greenhouse gases, contamination of drinking water, and emission of toxicants into the air via direct, second-, and third-hand smoke.”
The environment confronts a new threat because cigarette butts are non-biodegradable, according to the WHO information sheet, which also mentions the destruction of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
On the World Tobacco Day, an interesting statistics has been shared by Australia’s Cancer Council, which highlights challenges faced by smokers in quitting. “Around two-thirds of Australian smokers undertook at least one activity to help them quit in 2019, but we know it can be an incredibly challenging task. Implementing an integrated multi-channel, public education campaign would not only motivate and support current smokers to quit, it would also play an important role in de-normalising tobacco use and discouraging uptake among young people,” it said.