World No Tobacco Day 2024

The annual World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) campaign takes place on Friday 31 May 2024. This day, organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), serves to raise awareness of the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use.

This year the theme for WNTD is ‘Protecting Children from the Harms of Tobacco’.  Studies show that most adults who regularly use tobacco started before the age of 18.

Health Impacts of Tobacco

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and illness in the world today.

Two-thirds of all preventable and treatable deaths on the island in the last 20 years were from cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancers, with smoking being a contributing risk factor to all of these diseases. 

Smoking does not only affect smokers, it also affects others around them. People who breathe in second-hand smoke are at the same risk for illnesses as smokers, including lung cancer and heart disease. Children and infants exposed to tobacco smoke are also more likely to experience ear infections and asthma.

To help keep young people free from the devastating effects of tobacco it is important to:

  • Maintain a dialogue. Start early. Begin talking with your children about smoking. Be honest and open to seeing things from your child’s point of view. Keep the conversation going as children get older.

  • Prepare your children for peer pressure. Discuss what they might say if a friend offers them a cigarette or e-cigarette.

  • Set a good example. If you smoke, the best thing you can do is to stop smoking. Do not smoke around your children. Free support is available from Smokefree St Helena.

  • Establish a smoke-free home. Do not allow family members or friends to smoke in your home or car. Make sure the places where your child spends a lot of time are smoke-free.

If your child has started smoking, try to learn why. This may help you talk with him or her more effectively. Instead of punishment, offer understanding and support to resist the dangerous lure of tobacco-use and addiction.

Smoke-Free St Helena

Stopping smoking isn’t easy, but it is much easier with the right support. Smokefree St Helena provides an evidence-based programme of support, with sessions delivered by trained stop-smoking practitioners. The Smokefree St Helena programme is made up of two core components:

  • behavioural support
  • stop-smoking medications

It is through this combination that smokers have the best chance of breaking the habit. The programme provides weekly support sessions, where clients can receive the following support:

  • Engaging in discussions on their progress and difficulties they may be having
  • Receiving advice, encouragement and medication from their practitioner  

Pop by the Smokefree St Helena World No Tobacco Day stall at the Canister on Friday 31 May from 10:00 to 13:00 for more information.

Alternatively please contact the team directly by email though or by telephone on 25863.

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St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470