A World Without Tobacco

WASHINGTON, DC (May 27, 2010)

Wouldn't the world a better place if no one was addicted to tobacco? Imagine a world free of the global tobacco epidemic that threatens the lives of one billion men, women and children during this century. That's what World No Tobacco Day on Monday, May 31st is all about.

The American Lung Association joins the World Health Organization (WHO) to observe World No Tobacco Day on Monday, May 31, with a special focus this year on the global epidemic of tobacco use among women, and the harmful effects of tobacco industry marketing that targets women and girls.

Tobacco use takes an enormous toll on women with more than 170,000 American women dying each year from smoking-caused disease.  Recent public health data show lung cancer death rates for some women are still rising at a time when death rates for other kinds of cancer in women are declining. In addition, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, now kills more women than men.

The tobacco industry has a long and shameful history of targeting women and children. The most recent example is R.J. Reynolds' Camel No. 9 cigarettes, a pink-hued version that one newspaper dubbed 'Barbie Camel' because of marketing that appealed to girls. Advertised as 'available in stiletto' with promotional giveaways of flavored lip glosses and pink purses, R.J. Reynolds' was targeting of young girls was obvious.

Tobacco companies have also geared marketing of "light" and "low-tar" cigarettes to women, who are more likely to be concerned about the health risks of smoking.  But the concept of a "safer" cigarette is a myth.  Tobacco companies have long known from their own research that these cigarettes are no less harmful than regular cigarettes.

 "Quitting smoking is the single most important thing that most individuals can do to improve their health and World No Tobacco Day is a great day for all to stop using tobacco products," said Mary H. Partridge, National Board Chair of the American Lung Association.

The American Lung Association commemorates World No Tobacco Day by urging all women who smoke to quit and helping more Americans quit smoking remains a top public health priority for the Lung Association.  Our Freedom From Smoking© Online is a highly successful, self-paced program that's available 24 hours a day, and provides the tools and support that can help women and men quit for good. 

Visit Freedom From Smoking© Online to enroll in the program or to buy a membership for a loved one.

There are many other ways you can show your support of World No Tobacco Day:

  • Use this day to begin your quitting process. Ask for help, work on a plan and before you know it, you'll be on the road to becoming smokefree!
  • Become a Facebook®  fan! And while you're there, please donate your status to the cause. On Sunday, simply change your status to: Today is World Tobacco Day – for tips on quitting, go to www.LungUSA.org.
  • Follow us on Twitter! It's a great place to find encouragement and support.
  • Make a donation. Your gift can truly save lives.