Reflections by Igwe Ezinne Esther
The World No Tobacco Day is celebrated on the 31st of May every year to inform the public of the dangers of using tobacco, what the World Health Organization is doing to fight tobacco use and what people around the world can do to create awareness on the deleterious effects of tobacco.
According to WHO, about 600,000,000 trees are chopped down to produce tobacco, 84,000,000 tonnes of CO2 is released into the air due to smoking, raising global temperatures, and 22,000,000,000 tonnes of water is used to make cigarette globally. All of these contribute to further deteriorate our ecosystem. Every tobacco product used or cigarette smoked wastes precious resources that our planet depends on.
The goal of this day is to draw awareness to the negative effects of tobacco on the health, it being the cause of over 8 million deaths worldwide every year.
Neonates are not left out of being at risk to the dangers of tobacco use. Everybody is advised to stay away from tobacco use but this advice is especially more dire in the case of pregnant women. Smoking during pregnancy affects not only the mother but also the baby before, during and after the baby is born.
The effects of smoking on babies of mothers who smoke or babies exposed to cigarette smoke are numerous and very severe, this among many others includes:
- Greatly increases the risk of birth defects in the newborn; cleft lip, cleft palate, Down syndrome, among others.
- Higher risk of SIDS(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Premature birth and all it’s complications
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction(IUGR), causing the newborn to be too small.
- Damage to the baby’s brain and lungs etc.
This is a call to action to stand against the use of tobacco and for the governments around the world to set up policies that ban tobacco use and set up alternative, sustainable me and of livelihood for tobacco farmers. Give tobacco users an extra reason to quit, health workers should advocate for pregnant women to stay away from tobacco use and cigarette smoke. Lets join hands and say No to Tobacco
Quit Tobacco for a Healthy Planet and Healthy Babies
- United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). World No Tobacco Day 2022 overview https://www.unep.org/events/un-day/world-no-tobacco-day-2022 )
- World Health Organization. World No Tobacco Day 2022(https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-no-tobacco-day/2022 )
- Centre for Disease Control. Smoking, Pregnancy and Babies(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/