World No Tobacco Day is celebrated each year on May 31st to increase awareness about health problems caused by tobacco use. This year, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) “tobacco industry interference” theme highlights the tobacco industry’s efforts to thwart tobacco control policies around the world and reminds organizations and governments of their responsibility to be vigilant against the tobacco industry and help control the global tobacco epidemic.
Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of preventable death and disease in the world, killing nearly six million people each year. Through advertising and marketing, tobacco companies glamorize smoking in order to entice children and young adults to initiate smoking. To combat tobacco industry strategies, effective tobacco control policies have been implemented. These include: indoor and outdoor smoking bans, restrictions on sales of tobacco to youth, and increased tobacco taxes. In addition, anti-tobacco commercials and graphic labels on tobacco products prevent thousands of children and young adults from becoming the next generation of smokers and motivate many adult smokers to quit.
While the U.S. has made major progress against tobacco use, there’s a long way to go. Tobacco use still costs the U.S. more than $96 billion in health care expenditures and $97 billion in lost productivity each year. One in five Americans still smokes and about 4,000 children try their first cigarette each day. We can do better.
At North Shore-LIJ, people who use tobacco can quit through the comprehensive services of the Center for Tobacco Control. For more information about this program, please call 516-466-1980 or visit the website at www.northshorelij.com/stopsmoking. To contact the NYS Smokers’ Quitline, please call 1-866-8487.