Community health May 30, 2019
World No Tobacco Day: Smoking still leading cause of deadly lung and respiratory diseases

By News Feature - Accountable Care Journal

More than 30 years after World No Tobacco Day was launched to raise awareness of the devastating health effects of tobacco use, there are still more than a billion smokers in the world. Researchers are mobilising globally to improve smoking cessation rates and harm-reduction tools to help raise quitting success rates that are, at most, between 12 and 23 per cent.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and its global partners mark every May 31 as World No Tobacco Day. Smokers are urged to abstain from smoking for 24 hours. The focus of this year’s observance is lung health because tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of deadly lung and respiratory diseases. According to a Global Burden of Disease study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, of the more than 8 million deaths attributed to tobacco use in 2017, 2.88 million of those deaths were from chronic respiratory diseases; tracheal, bronchus, and lung cancer; and tuberculosis.

“As millions of people continue to die from tobacco-related diseases, it’s clear that an annual World No Tobacco observance day is not enough,” said Dr. Derek Yach, President of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. “We need to expand the body of scientific knowledge and technology around smoking cessation and harm reduction to drive toward new solutions that will help eliminate all tobacco product use and save lives. ”

The Foundation provides grants to over 100 researchers to advance knowledge expansion in multiple smoking cessation and harm-reduction areas, including biomarker discovery, outcomes of quitting/switching on the microbiome, and innovative clinical trial designs of cessation therapies.

For more information about the Foundation, please visit

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