World No Tobacco Day is an annual reminder of the dangers of tobacco use and its impact on the health of individuals and communities. It also sheds light on the tactics used by tobacco and related companies to attract younger generations of smokers, despite public health and regulatory efforts to lessen their influence.
There is growing evidence that smokers are more likely to develop severe COVID-19 disease if they become infected. This has triggered millions of smokers world-wide to want to quit tobacco, inspiring this year’s theme for World No Tobacco Day: Commit to Quit.
Commit to Quit measures aim to create healthier environments that:
- advocate strong tobacco cessation policies
- increase access to cessation services
- raise awareness of tobacco industry tactics
- and empower tobacco users to make successful quit attempts.
To support this aim, the WHO has put together ’More than 100 reasons to quit tobacco’ to mark World No Tobacco Day.
In Australia, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability.
- It is estimated to kill more than 20,000 Australians each year.
- It is a leading cause of cancer, contributing to at least 16 different types of cancer.
- It is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and type 2 diabetes, and globally, COVID-19 patients with these health conditions have been observed to suffer worse outcomes.
To mark World No Tobacco Day in 2021, the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced a package of new measures to support smoking cessation and treat nicotine dependence. These measures highlight the Australian Government’s commitment to helping more Australians to quit smoking.
Read Minister Hunt’s media release.
In addition, the Australian Government is continuing to support locally tailored population health approaches to reduce smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the Tackling Indigenous Smoking program.
Since the program began in 2010, the daily smoking rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have reduced from about 50% to about 37%. Reducing tobacco use in this population continues to be a public health priority.
There is no safe level of tobacco consumption. Quitting at any age is beneficial to your overall health, including mental health, and can reduce depression, anxiety and stress.
There are many services available to help Australians quit smoking, including:
You can also talk to your doctor, healthcare provider and pharmacist about products that help you to become smoke free.