Leeds Backs World No Tobacco Day 2017

Leeds, Leeds Star

Health leaders in Leeds are backing international efforts to prioritise and accelerate tobacco control efforts on World No Tobacco Day on 31 May 2017. The World Health Organisation is focussing on the links between tobacco and environmental problems and poverty. This means that for people in Leeds, lower smoking levels are not only saving lives and reducing health inequalities, there is a contribution to reducing adverse environmental impact of tobacco growing, manufacturing, trade and consumption.

Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council Director of Public Health, said:

“Recent decades have seen us make real progress in reducing tobacco consumption in Leeds with less than one in five adults now smoking – half the levels when I was growing up. But smoking continues to cost the city with lost lives, health costs, and a cost to the economy through lost productivity. We have a chance to inspire a smoke free generation and World No Tobacco Day is a great chance for people to make use of the support available to quit smoking and join the many people who have successfully improved their lives by giving up.”

People are being encouraged to support the Breathe2025 campaign and contribute on an individual level to making a sustainable, tobacco-free world. You can commit to never take up tobacco products, or if you do use tobacco, can pledge to quit the habit, or seek help in doing so. This will protect your health as well as reducing the number of people exposed to second-hand smoke, including children, other family members and friends. And, of course, money not spent on tobacco can be used for other things, whether that is necessities or treats.

Tobacco is a unique product. It is the only consumable that, when used in the intended way, kills half of its regular users. For every death caused by smoking, approximately 20 smokers are suffering from a smoking related disease which makes smoking the single greatest cause of early deaths and disease in the UK.

More details of Breathe 2025 can be found at www.breathe2025.org.uk

· WHO evidence is that 6 million people worldwide die from tobacco use every year, a figure that is predicted to grow to more than 8 million a year by 2030 without intensified action.

· Some 80% of premature deaths from tobacco occur in low- or middle-income countries, which face increased challenges to achieving their development goals.

· Tobacco growing requires large amounts of pesticides and fertilizers, which can be toxic and pollute water supplies. Each year, tobacco growing uses 4.3 million hectares of land, resulting in global deforestation between 2% and 4%. Tobacco manufacturing also produces over 2 million tonnes of solid waste.

· The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is an international treaty with 180 Parties (179 countries and the European Union). Today, more than half the world’s countries, representing nearly 40% of the world’s population (2.8 billion people), have implemented at least one of the WHO FCTC’s most cost-effective measures to the highest level.