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.1 This year’s focus for World No Tobacco Day is “Tobacco and Lung Health”. The campaign will increase awareness on the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease and the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.
How Tobacco Affects People’s Lung Health
There are multiple ways in which tobacco can impact an individual’s lung health, including:
Lung Cancer: Tobacco smoke is a toxic mix of more than 7,000 chemicals. Many are poisons. At least 70 are known to cause cancer in people or animals.2
Chronic Respiratory Disease: Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition where the build-up of pus-filled mucus in the lungs results in a painful cough and agonising breathing difficulties.1
Life-Course: If you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke when you’re pregnant, your baby is exposed to harmful chemicals too. This may lead to many serious health problems, including: Miscarriage, premature birth (born not fully developed), lower birth weight than expected (possibly meaning a less healthy baby), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and learning problems and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).3
Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis (TB) damages the lungs and reduces lung function, which is further exacerbated by tobacco smoking. About one quarter of the world’s population has latent TB, placing them at risk of developing the active disease.1
What Changes Can Be Made?
The WHO encourages governments worldwide to protect people from the harms of tobacco. Their recommendations include:
The creation of smoke-free public places, workplaces, and public transportation
Help for people who choose to quit tobacco, such as toll-free quit lines
Implementation of plain packaging and/or prominent and graphic health warnings on tobacco packaging
Launching effective anti-tobacco mass media campaigns that educate the public about the harms of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure
Enforcement of comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship
Increased taxes on tobacco products to make them less affordable
Do e-cigarettes or vapes have tobacco?
They are not burned tobacco products, but they do pose health risks. Know the risks.
Tria Health and Tobacco Cessation
For employers that offer Tria Health’s Tobacco Cessation Program, Tria provides free confidential counseling with a clinical pharmacist. If you ready to quit smoking, Tria Health’s pharmacist will assist you in managing your medications and finding a treatment plan that works for you.
Have any questions?
Contact the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742
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