Every year on May 31, the World Health Organization celebrates World No Tobacco Day. The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
In the spirit of World No Tobacco Day, Brenau’s Wellness Committee is sponsoring our own tobacco awareness program for the month of May. Stop by the HR office any time in the month of May to sign the Tobacco-Free Pledge. Employees will be awarded with one Activity Point for participation and receive a small gift. Flyers and information on quitting tobacco products are available at the “Be Well Brenau” booth located outside the HR Office.
The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2019 is on tobacco and lung health.
The campaign will increase awareness on:
- the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory disease.
- the fundamental role lungs play for the health and well-being of all people.
How tobacco endangers the lung health of people worldwide:
- Lung cancer. Tobacco smoking is the primary cause for lung cancer, responsible for over two-thirds of lung cancer deaths globally. Second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the work place also increases risk of lung cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer. After 10 years of quitting smoking, risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker.
- Chronic respiratory disease. Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition where the build-up of pus-filled mucus in the lungs results in a painful cough and agonizing breathing difficulties. The risk of developing COPD is particularly high among individuals who start smoking at a young age, as tobacco smoke significantly slows lung development. Tobacco also exacerbates asthma, which restricts activity and contributes to disability. Early smoking cessation is the most effective treatment for slowing the progression of COPD and improving asthma symptoms.
- Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (TB) damages the lungs and reduces lung function, which is further exacerbated by tobacco smoking. The chemical components of tobacco smoke can trigger latent infections of TB. Around a quarter of all people are infected with TB. Active TB, compounded by the damaging lung health effects of tobacco smoking, substantially increases risk of disability and death from respiratory failure.
- Air pollution. Tobacco smoke is a very dangerous form of indoor air pollution. It contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. Though smoke may be invisible and odorless, it can linger in the air for up to five hours, putting those exposed at risk of lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and reduced lung function.
Helpful tips and information on how to quit are available in the HR Office or at the “Be Well Brenau” booth outside the HR office.