WHO Says Tobacco Causes Major Harm to the Environment
- Lucy Bush
The theme for this year's day is "Tobacco - a threat to development".
World Health Organization estimates that smoking costs more than US$1.4 trillion (PS1.1 trillion) in terms of healthcare costs and lost productivity. According to research supported by the University of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program IDEA Grant and published in BMJ Journals in 2011, toxicity of cigarette stubs, and their chemical components pose a potential ecological threat to oceans and the aquatic life that call these waters home. According to 2014 figures, about 3.1 million South Africans earned no more than R6, 000 a month but spent more than R7.6 billion a year on cigarettes.
Asad Iqbal Butt, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan's vice-chairperson, said the PHW cautioned the smokers and others around him about the health hazards from tobacco use. "The rest of the world is seeing a decline".
"We need to redouble efforts to help more smokers become tobacco-free".
"Giving up tobacco is the easiest thing in the world".
"Many governments are taking action against tobacco, from banning advertising and marketing, to introducing plain packaging for tobacco products, and smoke-free work and public places", says Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO's Assistant Director-General for NCDs and Mental Health.
Tobacco use now leads to almost 6 million deaths each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoking.
He said that smoking causes a range of diseases never suspected before, including cataracts, acute myeloid leukaemia and cervical, kidney, pancreatic and stomach cancers.
The report is the first detailed examination of RYO consumption from the HSE's National Tobacco Control Office monthly survey of smoking prevalence.
"So, it affects poverty".
Although smoking in public places was restricted nationwide since 2008, there are approximately 120 million smokers in India.
In line with WHO's FCTC, WHO's MPOWER measures support countries to reduce demand for tobacco, using methods that are practical, low-priced and high-impact. Nevertheless, he said, "the evidence is really astounding as to how tobacco is extremely unsafe and harming the environment".
She added that growing tobacco diverts agricultural land that could otherwise be used for food, impacting on food insecurity and under-nutrition.
To cure tobacco leaves, vast quantities of wood are burned, contributing to deforestation.
Waste from the process contains over 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens, the World Health Organization said.
According to study by the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom, "large-scale use of e-cigarettes, or other non-tobacco nicotine products has the potential to prevent nearly all the harm from smoking in society".
Up to 10 billion of the 15 billion cigarettes sold daily are disposed in the environment.