Quitting smoking is key to both your own health and the health of our environment.
By Cancer Council NSW
Tuesday 31 May is World No Tobacco Day
This World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organisation has declared the theme as Tobacco: Threat to our environment and is why Cancer Council NSW is highlighting that a major reduction in smoking rates is the most effective way to reduce tobacco-related environmental damage. It is also the only way to reduce the health harms of tobacco use, which are on track to cause one billion deaths worldwide this century.
World Health Organization World No Tobacco Day 2022 award recipient Kylie Lindorff states, “The tobacco industry has a long history of supporting anti-litter campaigns as a cynical attempt at corporate social responsibility while profiting from products they aggressively promote that cause death on an unparalleled scale – more than 8 million people a year, as well as environmental damage.”
Ms. Lindorff has been highlighted this World No Tobacco Day in recognition of her strong and effective voice for over 20 years for evidence-based tobacco control in Australia, the Western Pacific Region, and globally.
“Ms. Lindorff should be congratulated for her extraordinary impact on tobacco control, across all areas and in ways that could be measured in thousands of lives saved.’’ Congratulated Anita Dessaix, Director of Cancer Prevention & Advocacy at Cancer Council NSW.
‘’Her influence and effectiveness is the result of her direct involvement in world-changing tobacco control policy and advocacy across decades, including as a leader in the establishment of plain packaging of tobacco in Australia and its subsequent promotion to and adoption as policy by many other countries. Ms. Lindorff is currently the Senior Advisor, National & International Tobacco Control Policy at Cancer Council NSW.’’
Data out today from NSW Health shows that 8.2% of the NSW population are daily smokers, continuing the downward trend of the past ten years however this still leaves over 650,000 people in NSW at risk from the short- and long-term serious harm from tobacco.
“While we want to support individuals to quit smoking, we know that achieving a tobacco-free future is only possible if the government takes action now to create an environment where it is easier for people to quit and to ensure people don’t start using tobacco in the first place. That includes creating smoke-free environments that protect people from second-hand smoke, greatly reducing the widespread availability of tobacco through retail restrictions, and encouraging people to never start or to stop smoking through increased investment in anti-tobacco mass media campaigns,” concludes Anita Dessaix.
Cigarette butts, which contain bioplastics, are the most littered items on the planet, causing lasting toxic pollution and damage to our land, rivers, oceans, and wildlife. An estimated 4.5 trillion butts are discarded worldwide every year, with nearly nine billion of those in Australia. Tobacco growing, curing, manufacturing, and transportation also add to the environmental harm caused by the tobacco industry.