World No Tobacco Day is observed annually on May 31 to spread awareness about tobacco use risks and make the world tobacco-free. Created in 1987 by World Health Organisation to create awareness of the harms caused by tobacco products to human health and the environment, this year, under the theme, ‘Protect The Environment, the annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness of the deadly effects of tobacco and discourage the use in any form besides guiding people on how smoking can affect the passive smoker along with active users.
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. The dangers of tobacco and its negative impact on health, and the exploitation of the nicotine industry geared toward the youth are the motives of the awareness campaign. World No Tobacco Day informs the public about the dangers of using tobacco, the malpractices of tobacco companies, and how we can contribute toward healthy living and the world by quitting tobacco.
There is no denying that the tobacco life cycle is an overwhelmingly polluting and damaging process from beginning to end. From health hazards to environmental pollution, there is no shortage of harm that these leaves with high nicotine levels can do.
Here are a few examples of other ways smoking tobacco can affect your health:
- Increased risk of gum disease, bad breath, and stained teeth
- Increased phlegm
- Lowered immune system function
- Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- Decreased sense of smell and taste
- Premature aging
- Lower bone density
- Increased risk for cataracts
- Impeding the brain development in teenagers
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or gasping
- More frequent headaches
- Respiratory illnesses
- Risk of rheumatoid arthritis
- Worsens cold and flu symptoms
- Reduced physical fitness
- Poor lung growth and function
The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is humongous, adding unnecessary pressure to our planet’s already scarce resources and weakened ecosystem. Tobacco, in all ways, contribute to various health and environmental hazards besides lowering the quality of life. Tobacco manufacturing poisons our water, soil, beaches, and cities with chemicals, microplastics, and toxic waste. Let us pledge not to fall for the tobacco industry’s attempt to try and distract from its environmental harms. Quit tobacco for your health and the health of our mother earth.
(Inputs Source: WHO)