Today is World No Tobacco Day.
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable illness and death.
World No Tobacco Day highlights the significant risks and tragic, preventable consequences of tobacco use, and invites efforts to reduce the consumption of tobacco products in the United States and around the world.
In the U.S., cigarette smoking among adults has decreased to about 15 percent. However, the U.S. still carries an extreme health and economic burden caused by tobacco product use: 480,000 deaths a year and an estimated cost of $289 billion annually in direct medical care and lost productivity.
On a global level, the impact of tobacco use in most countries is at least as extreme as it is in the United States, and the burden continues to grow. The World Health Organization currently estimates that tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths a year around the world and at current rates could kill up to 1 billion people in this century exit disclaimer icon, compared to 100 million in the 20th century exit disclaimer icon. The global economic costs of tobacco use are well over $500 billion a year and growing exit disclaimer icon.
Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized a rule extending its regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah (water pipe) tobacco, among others. Going forward, the FDA will be able to review and regulate all new tobacco products not yet on the market.
The health effects of tobacco use are truly a global public health crisis, but one played out individual by individual, family by family, and highly influenced by locality and custom. Everyone can act to reduce the terrible toll that tobacco products place on the health of people they know, as well as hundreds of millions we do not know personally all over the globe.
Individuals that use tobacco products are encouraged today to commit to stop or slow down their use. Families, employers and other individuals and organizations in the community are invited to purge and support efforts of individuals who smoke or otherwise use tobacco to stop.