We have an opiod overdose crisis, but cigarettes still kill 15 times more people
28,200 adults in New York State die each year from smoking-related disease
Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease
The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old
Every year, on May 31, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners mark “World No Tobacco Day” (WNTD), highlighting the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use.
People can contribute on an individual level to making a sustainable, tobacco-free world. Individuals can commit to avoiding tobacco use altogether. Those who do use tobacco can quit the habit or
seek help in doing so. Quitting will protect their health as well as others exposed to second-hand smoke, including children, other family members and friends. People who do not spend money on
tobacco products can use those resources for other things to promote a healthy lifestyle including the purchase of healthy food, healthcare and education. Communities can take action to increase
support for tobacco-free norms to help in the battle against tobacco use, the number one cause of preventable death in New York, the United States and around the world.
The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2018 is “Tobacco and Heart Disease.” The campaign aims to increase awareness about the link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, which combined are the world’s leading causes of death; feasible actions and measures that key audiences, including governments and the public, can take to reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco. The global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.
Campus Clean-up Uncovers Pervasive Cigarette Butt Litter
Advancing Tobacco Free Communities of Delaware, Schoharie, and Otsego Counties (ATFC-DOS) participated in the 2018 SUNY Cobleskill Campus Clean-up Day on Thursday, April 26. Five student volunteers assisted new Reality Check/Youth Engagement Coordinator Bonnie Peck with the clean-up by flagging tobacco waste including cigarette butts, cigarillo tips, and even e-cigarette “pods” from areas around Wieting Hall and Van Wagenen Library. Students flagged and photographed tobacco litter and then disposed of it. Timothy Ramirez, Bridget Kennedy, Emma Rose Wegner, Nicole Gugulski, and Rachel Butler are to be commended for participating in the effort.
While SUNY Cobleskill does have a tobacco policy that requires students, faculty, staff and visitors to use tobacco only in designated areas, the students working on the clean-up day discovered a large volume of tobacco litter near entrances to the buildings and on the ground in a 30-foot radius of the designated smoking gazebo.
Tobacco use is not only a health issue, but an environmental issue as well. Cigarette butts are the number one littered item worldwide – 1.69 billion pounds annually. Since the 1980’s, cigarette butts have consistently comprised 30-40% of all items collected in annual international coastal and urban cleanups. Cigarette waste can leach toxic chemicals into the environment, leading to land, water, and air pollution. Cigarette filters are made from cellulose acetate, a plastic that, though technically biodegradable, only degrades under severe biological circumstances, such as when filters collect in sewage after nine months or more. Cigarette butts tossed on the ground do not biodegrade.
Students, faculty and staff at all college campuses can help build a healthier campus community where many live, learn, work and play and combat the negative influences of the tobacco industry. ATFC-DOS educates the community and decision makers, mobilizes community members around the problems that tobacco addiction causes in local communities, and helps decision makers understand the types of choices that they have to address these problems.