As the world marked World No Tobacco Day 2022, on May 31, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says tobacco kills over 8 million people every year. It also destroys our environment, further harming human health, through the cultivation, production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumer waste.
Experts say using any kind of tobacco product is unsafe, especially for kids, teens, and young adults.
The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2022 is “Tobacco: Threat to our environment”.
WHO has called on African Governments to impose environmental tax levies on tobacco across the value and supply chains, including production, processing, distribution, sales, consumption, and waste management.
The Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, made the call on Monday in a message to commemorate the 2022 World No Tobacco Day which is always celebrated on May 31 every year.The day was to raise awareness of the negative health, social, economic, and environmental impacts of tobacco production and use.
Moeti advised countries to accelerate the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which provides the necessary guidance to advance the creation of smoke-free environments.
According to her, the framework would create programmes to support tobacco users to quit and support for the application of excise tax and other financial countermeasures.
According to Moeti, the emergence of new products, such as electronic nicotine and tobacco products, are also proving attractive to youths, compounding the concerns. The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing adding unnecessary pressure to our planet’s already scarce resources and fragile ecosystems.
Apart from the health implications, tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending from basic needs such as food and shelter to tobacco and also significant health care costs for treating diseases caused by tobacco use.
Join the conversation to help and encourage smokers quit smoking.