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CPS: May 31 is World No Tobacco Day. Poisoning Our Planet #TobaccoExposed

Throughout its lifecycle, tobacco pollutes the planet and damages the health of all people. The theme for World No Tobacco Day May 31 is “Poisoning Our Planet #TobaccoExposed.”

Every year, on 31 May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).

600,000,000 trees are chopped down to make cigarettes; 84,000,000 tons of CO2 emissions are released into the air raising global temperatures; 22,000,000,000 tons of water is used to make cigarettes.

According to the WHO, 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.

Tobacco kills up to half of its users. The WHO adds that tobacco kills over eight million people every year and destroys our environment, further harming human health, through the cultivation, production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumer waste.

More than seven million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Over 80% of the world's 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low- and middle-income countries. In 2020, 22.3% of the global population used tobacco, 36.7% of all men and 7.8% of the world’s women.

All forms of tobacco are harmful, and there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco. Cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use worldwide.

Other tobacco products include waterpipe tobacco, various smokeless tobacco products, cigars, cigarillos, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis and kreteks.

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, encourages the smokers within the Sint Maarten community to follow the advice as advocated by the WHO for World No Tobacco Day 2022.

When tobacco users become aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. However, nicotine contained in tobacco products is highly addictive and without cessation support only 4% of users who attempt to quit tobacco use will succeed, the WHO points out.

Professional support and proven cessation medications can more than double a tobacco user's chance of successful quitting.

The WHO says that smokers can lower their risk from of developing cancers, heart disease and respiratory illnesses.

The objective of the annual campaign WNTD is to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, to discourage the use of tobacco in any form, CPS, said on Tuesday.

For more information call CPS at 542-3003; or email surveillance@sintmaartengov.org

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