Jefferson County, CO - Today, May 31, 2012, marks World No Tobacco Day. This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is focusing on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry's attempts to undermine tobacco control work throughout the world. Tobacco use and the tobacco industry’s aggressive sales and marketing tactics negatively impact our societies and our environments worldwide. Jefferson County Public Health joins WHO in taking a global stand against tobacco.
According to the World Health Organization, the tobacco industry is currently trying to undermine “attempts to ban smoking in enclosed public places.”1 This exposes individuals to secondhand smoke and denies them the right to work and be in smoke-free environments. In addition, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, despite claims by Phillip Morris that it only markets to adults, “Philip Morris International continues to market in ways that appeal to kids and ruthlessly fights countries’ efforts to reduce tobacco use and save lives.”2
Jefferson County Public Health is committed to exposing the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics and protecting residents from the harms of tobacco. Donna Viverette, JCPH Tobacco Prevention Initiative Supervisor says, “We are working with our communities to strengthen local policies in order to keep our youth from accessing tobacco and keeping everyone safe from exposure to secondhand smoke in workplaces and public places.”
In April 2012, the cities of Lakewood and Golden both passed tobacco-related ordinances. Lakewood strengthened its smokefree ordinance to include certain outdoor public places while Golden implemented a non-cigarette tobacco licensure program for retailers.
Considering that tobacco kills nearly 6 million people worldwide each year, the need for global action is crucial.3 This is more than the entire population of the state of Colorado. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death.
Despite the progress that has been made at the local, national and global levels, there is still a great deal of work to be done in Colorado and Jefferson County. The tobacco industry continues to promote smoking through marketing that often targets youth and by actively lobbying against smoke-free policies.
According to the 2010 Surgeon General’s Report, “There is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke,”4 indicating that even breathing small amounts of secondhand smoke can have significant health-related consequences.
To learn more about World No Tobacco Day, please visit: http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2012/announcement/en/
- WHO, http://www.who.int/tobacco/wntd/2012/announcement/en/
- “A ‘Responsible’ Tobacco Company? Philip Morris International’s Actions Contradict CEO’s Claim: Camilleri downplays tobacco’s toll, dismisses youth concerns at shareholders’ meeting.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. May 12, 2012. http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/tobacco_unfiltered/post/2012_05_11_pmi
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking‐Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco