World No Tobacco Day (31 May 2022): ‘Tobacco: Threat to our environment’

World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on 31 May each year to draw attention to the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what is being done 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.

This year, the theme is ‘Tobacco: Threat to our environment’.

Background Information:

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. In 1987, the World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38, calling for 7 April 1988 to be a “a world no-smoking day.” In 1988, Resolution WHA42.19 was passed, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on 31 May.

Key Messages:

Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year and destroys our environment, further harming human health, through the cultivation, production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumer waste.

Tobacco Harms the Environment

Tobacco growing, manufacturing and use poison our water, soil, beaches and city streets with chemicals, toxic waste, cigarette butts, including microplastics, and e-cigarette waste.

Don’t fall for the tobacco industry’s attempt to try and distract from its environmental harms by greenwashing their products through donations to sustainability initiatives and reporting on environmental “standards” they often set themselves.  

Quit Tobacco to save our planet

Every cigarette smoked or tobacco product used wastes precious resources that our existence depends on. Quit tobacco for your health and the health of our planet. Tobacco smoke contributes to higher air pollution levels and contains three kinds of greenhouse gases.

Make the Tobacco industry clean up their mess

The tobacco industry is making profit by destroying the environment and needs to be held accountable for the environmental destruction and made to pay for the waste and damages, including to recover the cost of collecting these wastes.

Help Tobacco farmers switch to sustainable crops

Governments and policy makers should support tobacco farmers to switch to alternative, more sustainable livelihoods to reduce the environmental impact of tobacco growing, curing and manufacturing while continue to implement tobacco control measures.

Useful Links:

Link to World No Tobacco Day 2022 site:

Link to question and answer on World No Tobacco Day theme:

Link to related YouTube video:


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