World No Tobacco Day 2022: protect yourself and the environment

    • Brief

    • World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is an annual awareness day (held on the 31st May) organized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Every year since 1987, the partner countries campaign to raise awareness of the harms caused by tobacco products to people, public health, communities and the environment.

      Around the world, tobacco is smoked, chewed or sniffed. According to the WHO, “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.”

      Cigarettes and other tobacco products pass nicotine into the blood. Nicotine stimulates the brain and increases blood pressure and heart rate and makes your brain want more of it, trapping you in an addiction cycle.

      Other chemical compounds in tobacco can cause lung cancer, bronchitis and emphysema. They also increase the risk for heart disease, leading to stroke or heart attack.

    • Tobacco and the environment

    • The most visible sign of pollution are the discarded cigarette butts that litter the streets Nigerian cities. These cigarette butts are made with plastics. They do not degrade quickly and can remain intact for long periods of time. Cigarette butts are an important source of plastic pollution.

      But also the production of tobacco is an important cause of pollution. Farmers must use pesticides to improve their tobacco yields. These pesticides often end up in streams and water that local communities use for drinking water.

      Tobacco farming also harms the world's forests, 3.5 million hectares of forest land worldwide is destroyed each year to produce tobacco.

      Tobacco farming, manufacturing, distribution and use harms our planet, and causes the world's population to fall sick. You improve your health and help to reduce environmental problems when you decide to quit smoking.

    • Tobacco and ill health

    • Tobacco use causes at least 20 types of cancer and it is the leading preventable cause of cancer by a wide margin. Tobacco kills some 8 million people worldwide every single year.

      In Nigeria, smoking in public places is banned, but the laws are not enforced. Smoking remains unhindered in public spaces, putting non-smokers at risk of inhaling second-hand smoke.

      We call on the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency to enforce Lagos's ban on smoking in public spaces. This will curb tobacco use and will keep Lagosians healthier for longer.

    • How to quit tobacco use

    • When you decide to quit, seek support from your healthcare provider, family and friends. Your healthcare provider will give you tips that help improve your chances of quitting. They may recommend tobacco replacement therapy or other medications as required. Family and friends can support you in your struggle with your nicotine addiction.