World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is an annual, international campaign aimed at raising awareness about the negative impacts of tobacco use on users, farmers, and the environment. Observed each year on May 31st, WNTD has been recognized since 1987 and is spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO).
In recognition of World No Tobacco Day 2023, air quality experts from Camfil discuss the harmful effects of tobacco and nicotine use and secondhand smoke on human health.
What is World No Tobacco Day?
World No Tobacco Day is an important reminder for everyone to be aware of the health consequences that come from using tobacco products and being exposed to secondhand smoke. Each year, the World Health Organization coordinates special events around May 31st to spread awareness about the negative impacts of tobacco use, both personally and on society at large. Events held on WNTD include initiatives such as public campaigns, rallies, seminars, and social media activities. These events are designed to raise awareness and educate people about the risks associated with smoking and vaping across the supply chain. Through these activities, WNTD aims to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use and encourage healthier alternatives.
What Are the Health Effects of Tobacco Use?
It is widely known that smoking cigarettes, cigars, and using other tobacco products can be dangerous for human health. Tobacco use is linked to many serious health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic lung disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, leading to almost half a million preventable deaths annually.
Smoking can also increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes and can exacerbate existing conditions like asthma. Even people who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk for developing respiratory illnesses and other health problems.
While tobacco use has decreased overall in the United States the last fifty years, nicotine products are still widely prevalent among adolescents. Most adults who smoke cigarettes or use other nicotine products began doing so before the age of 18. In 2019, according to the CDC, approximately 40% of middle and high school students in the United States self-reported having ever used tobacco products, while 23% reported having used a tobacco product in the past thirty days.
Nicotine exposure during key developmental phases that last until the mid-twenties can damage critical brain functions, permanently altering and damaging cognitive abilities, mood, and impulse control.
What are the Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke?
Secondhand smoke can be particularly dangerous for vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant people. Exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory infections, asthma, and ear infections. For pregnant women, secondhand smoke exposure has been associated with low birthweight babies and preterm birth.
In addition to the dangers it can pose to those exposed directly, secondhand smoke also causes environmental pollution with no known safe level of exposure. Secondhand smoke is composed of both harmful gaseous pollutants and particulate matter that are released into the air through the burning of tobacco products or exhaled from smokers themselves. These pollutants can linger in the air for long periods of time after smoking has ceased, meaning that you do not have to be in direct contact with someone while they are smoking to be affected by secondhand smoke. Even brief exposure can be hazardous to health and put people at risk for cancer and other serious diseases. Furthermore, indoor areas with poor ventilation and inadequate air filtration can harbor a buildup of these pollutants due to stagnant air, causing a heightened risk of health effects from secondhand smoke exposure.
About Camfil Clean Air Solutions
For more than half a century, Camfil has been helping people breathe cleaner air. As a leading manufacturer of premium clean air solutions, we provide commercial and industrial systems for air filtration and air pollution control that improve worker and equipment productivity, minimize energy use, and benefit human health and the environment. We firmly believe that the best solutions for our customers are the best solutions for our planet, too. That’s why every step of the way – from design to delivery and across the product life cycle – we consider the impact of what we do on people and on the world around us. Through a fresh approach to problem-solving, innovative design, precise process control, and a strong customer focus we aim to conserve more, use less and find better ways – so we can all breathe easier.
The Camfil Group is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has 31 manufacturing sites, six R&D centers, local sales offices in 35+ countries, and about 5,200 employees and growing. We proudly serve and support customers in a wide variety of industries and in communities across the world. To discover how Camfil USA can help you to protect people, processes and the environment, visit us at www.camfil.us/
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