May 31 is World No Tobacco Day


31 May 2024

May 31 marks World No Tobacco Day. The theme for this year, set by the World Health Organization, is "Protecting Children from Tobacco Industry Interference."

Despite significant progress in reducing commercial tobacco use, the emergence of e-cigarettes and other new tobacco and nicotine products present a threat to youth and tobacco control. The World Health Organization (WHO) and STOP’s recent report, Hooking the Generation, shows that globally an estimated 37 million children aged 13–15 years use tobacco and the rate of e-cigarette use among adolescents exceeds that of adults, in many countries. In 2023, findings from the Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey showed that 19% of students in grades 7 to 12 in Ontario had used a vaping device (including a few puffs), while 6.6% had reported using a tobacco cigarette (including a few puffs) in the past year.

Commercial tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death in Ontario, accounting for approximately 16,673 deaths each year in people aged 35 and older. Raising awareness of World No Tobacco Day is important as it highlights the health risks associated with tobacco use, especially for youth, as well as increases awareness on the importance of effective policies for reducing tobacco consumption.

Please note that this post refers to commercial use of tobacco. Content is not associated with the sacred and traditional uses of tobacco, which First Nations peoples have been using for thousands of years. Semaa, the Anishnaabemowin word for tobacco, is used with the utmost respect during ceremonies, for prayers, offerings, and among other benefits to Indigenous communities.

Get Involved in World No Tobacco Day!

Attend a webinar:

Listen to a webinar recording:

Explore tools and resources:

Resources from Public Health Ontario:

Resources for Adult Allies to Support Youth Vaping Prevention & Quit Attempts:

  • Not an Experiment (NAE): A resource for educators and parents aimed to prevent the initiation and escalation of vaping among youth in grades 7 to 12
  • Brief Contact Intervention (BCI) Toolkit: developed by Ontario public health units and the Lung Health Foundation to support those who work with youth to understand and apply brief contact intervention practices to support behaviour change (launching on May 31st)

Resources to Support Quitting:

  • Quash: Free app to support quitting smoking or vaping for youth and emerging adults (ages 14-30), that makes it easy to build a custom plan for quitting.
  • Stop Vaping Challenge:  Free app that provides a venue for youth to reflect on their vaping behaviours and patterns in a fun, social way that encourages quitting with friends. 
  • Smokers' Helpline: Free and confidential service that offers support and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. Contact Health811 by calling 811 or 1-866-797-0007 or Text IQUIT to 123456.
  • Quit Map: Provides in-person, online or phone services in your area to quit smoking or vaping.
  • STOP (18 years and older): Offers free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and other supports and resources to help people quit or reduce smoking.
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Updated 31 May 2024