Cigarettes and Ash

World No Tobacco Day

May 31st is World No Tobacco Day.

The World Health Organization (WHO), mark the occasion by “highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use, and advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption”(1).

This year’s theme “Tobacco – a threat to development” not only emphasises the established impact of tobacco on health, accounting for over 7 million deaths, but also draws attention to its economic, developmental and environmental consequences (1).

Key Issues

For this year’s campaign (2), WHO drew focus on the following areas:

  • Health – including its attribution in up to 14% of all deaths from non-communicable disease
  • Economic costs – including the direct and indirect economic impacts
  • Environmental impact – including air pollution and deforestation
  • The threat to women and children – including through industry targeting and the effects of tobacco growing on children and families
  • The role in plays in poorer demographics – including its role in the health disparities observed between the wealthy and poor

Clarifying the key issues and action areas is not all this campaign represents. It also works to strengthen the message that increasing tobacco taxation is a powerful measure which can be undertaken with multiple benefits and outline other vital methods which countries can undertake (2).

The broad scope of this year’s campaign sincerely highlights just how widespread the effects of Tobacco are on humanity.

Visit WHO for the full details and to learn more about World No Tobacco Day 2017.

Tobacco Control and Lifestyle Medicine

You may have heard us say that Lifestyle Medicine “bridges the gap between health promotion and clinical practice with a multidisciplinary, whole system approach to the chronic disease problem”. This foundation, paired with the knowledge that tobacco use, along with alcohol overconsumption, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet, is considered part of the major risk factors for non-communicable disease (3) creates a clear rationale for why ASLM so strongly supports World No Tobacco Day.

    1. World Health Organization (2017), World No Tobacco Day 2017: Beating tobacco for health, prosperity, the environment and national development, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, viewed 31 May 2017 <>
    2. World Health Organization (2017). World No Tobacco Day 2017. Tobacco threatens us all: protect health, reduce poverty and promote developmentGeneva, Switzerland.
    3. World Health Organization, Prevention of noncommunicable diseases, viewed 31 May 2017 <>