World No Tobacco Day is a day designated by the World Health Organisation to highlight the health and additional risks associated with tobacco use.
The campaigns theme is Tobacco-a threat to development. In addition to calling on governments to implement effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption, the campaign aims to demonstrate the threats that the tobacco industry poses to the sustainable development of all countries, including the health and economic well-being of their citizens.
It is also a call to action to individuals to contribute to making a sustainable, tobacco-free world, either by committing to never taking up tobacco products, or by quitting the habit.
Healthcare professionals now need to look again at their role in treating tobacco dependence and how we can build on the progress delivered by legislation and public health measures. Although smoking has declined in prevalence in recent years it remains the leading cause of preventable premature death. It accounts for over one third of respiratory deaths, reduces the effectiveness of inhaled medicines for asthma and COPD, increases hospital admissions and use of primary care resources. Those smoking more tobacco for more of their lives are likely as a consequence to be in our surgeries and clinics. Are we optimising these opportunities as best we can?
Why not use this day to think about how you and your organisation approaches this problem? Are you trained to have the right conversation, do you feel confident with stop smoking pharmacotherapy? Is the right service being commissioned or provided to do the right treatment, the right way?
PCRS-UK is working to challenge traditional views around smoking, to encourage healthcare professionals to see tobacco dependency as a long term relapsing condition that starts in childhood.
We believe that treating tobacco dependency is the business of every healthcare professional. This is because treating tobacco dependency is the single most cost-effective intervention for the prevention of smoking-related disease and for smokers who have smoking-related diseases. Read more in this article.
Here are two relevant resources setting out actions you can take in your practice: