The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.
This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.
World No Tobacco Day 2022 Theme: “Tobacco is threat to our environment”
WHO and public health champions around the world are marking World No Tobacco Day this year by focusing on the many ways in which tobacco threatens the environment we live in.
The 2022 global campaign aims to raise public awareness about the environmental impact of the entire tobacco cycle, from its cultivation, production and distribution to the toxic waste it generates. The campaign will also aim to expose the tobacco industry’s effort to greenwash its reputation and to make its products more appealing by marketing them as environmentally friendly.
From start to finish, the tobacco life cycle is an overwhelmingly polluting and damaging process. Air pollution caused by smoking springs to mind, but damage occurs across the entire supply chain, and is much more complex.
- Across the globe around 3.5 million hectares of land are destroyed to grow tobacco each year. Growing tobacco also contributes to the deforestation of 200 000 hectares a year and soil degradation.
- Tobacco production depletes the planet of water, fossil fuel and metal resources.
- Globalization of the tobacco supply chain and sales means the tobacco industry relies heavily on resource-intensive modes of transport.
- 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are not disposed of properly every year across the globe, generating 1.69 billion pounds of toxic waste and releasing thousands of chemicals into the air, water and soil.