World No Tobacco Day

Date: 11 May 2022

World No Tobacco Day, being held on 31 May with the theme Tobacco: Threat to our environment aims to raise awareness among of the environmental impact of tobacco – from cultivation, production, distribution and waste.

The World Health Organization, which promotes the special day, hopes the theme will give tobacco users an extra reason to quit.

The campaign will also aim to expose tobacco industry’s effort to “greenwash” its reputation and products by marketing themselves as environmentally friendly.

With an annual greenhouse gas contribution of 84 megatons carbon dioxide equivalent, the tobacco industry contributes to climate change and reduces climate resilience, wasting resources and damaging ecosystems.

Around 3.5 million hectares of land are destroyed for tobacco growing each year. Growing tobacco contributes to deforestation, especially in the developing world. of Deforestation for tobacco plantations promotes soil degradation and “failing yields” or the capacity for the land to support the growth of any other crops or vegetation.

Director of Health Promotion at WHO, Dr Ruediger Krech, said the environmental impacts of tobacco using added unnecessary pressure to the planet’s already scarce resources and fragile ecosystems.

“This is especially dangerous for developing countries, as that’s where most of the tobacco production happens.” Dr Krech said.

“Every cigarette you smoke, you are literally burning resources where they are already scarce, burning resources where our very existence depends upon.”

According to the Cancer Council, tobacco smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Australia and claims the lives of about 24,000 Australians every year. Australian Bureau of Statistics shows there are still around 2.8 million smokers in Australia.

Pharmacists and pharmacy staff have an important role to play in assisting smoking cessation in a number of ways and pharmacists are encouraged to:

  • advise customers of quitting for themselves and for their families;
  • provide interventions, encouraging customers who indicate that they are thinking of quitting or have tried to quit to keep trying;
  • suggest and refer smokers to quit smoking programs;
  • provide advice and support on Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and other products, including encouraging customers when they return to pick up their products;
  • assist in the development of a quit smoking plan;
  • maintain an awareness of current smoking cessation products and strategies to support their community with contemporary knowledge and information; and
  • recognise other non-NRT treatments (prescription lines) and pharmacist role in counselling people on use, and also providing information about different treatment options.

Contact: The Guild
Phone: 13GUILD

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Page last updated on: 11 May 2022