Clear the Air by Celebrating World No Tobacco Day!

World No Tobacco Day is an initiative by the World Health Organization which marks May 31st of every year as a day to draw attention to the adverse health effects of smoking. In honor of No Tobacco Day, let’s take some time to explore why people smoke, what smoking does to the body, and how you or someone close to you can kick the habit for good.

Why do people smoke?

Three significant factors are:

  1. Nicotine Addiction – Addiction is a significant barrier, even for smokers who want to quit. Several studies on addiction have shown that quitting nicotine may be even more difficult than quitting hard drugs like cocaine and heroin.
  2. Stress Relief – Smokers often rely on cigarettes to cope with stress, perceiving them as a way to deal with negative emotions.
  3. Social and Environmental Factors – Peer pressure, family smoking history, and exposure to smoking-related media or advertising are all factors that influence the likelihood that someone will begin smoking.

What are the negative effects of smoking?

Smoking is strongly correlated with organ damage, preventable diseases, and an overall increased risk of mortality. According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking is responsible for 480,000 deaths in America each year (nearly one-fifth of all deaths!).

  1. Increased Risk of Cancer – Harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke damage DNA and increase the risk of tumor formation. Because of this, smoking tobacco is a leading cause of various types of cancer – including lung, throat, mouth, esophagus, and bladder.  
  2. Respiratory Diseases – Lung damage from smoking causes chronic respiratory conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. People with asthma who smoke experience more frequent and severe attacks, worsened lung function, and reduced response to asthma medication.
  3. Cardiovascular Diseases – Tobacco smoke damages blood vessels, increases blood pressure, and promotes the formation of blood clots. This significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  4. Reduced Immune Function – Smoking weakens the immune system, making smokers more susceptible to infections and illnesses like pneumonia and influenza.
  5. Reproductive Health Problems – Smoking harms reproductive health, reducing fertility and causing pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight.

Effective Ways to Quit Smoking!

Quitting smoking is tough, but these steps can help get you started!

  1. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – NRT comes in the form of patches, gum, lozenges, and inhalers. When used correctly, NRT reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings, aiding gradual nicotine cessation by controlled dosing.
  2. Mindfulness and Stress Reduction Techniques – Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing practices can be used help to reduce stress and manage cravings.
  3. Lifestyle Changes – Engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine can support smoking cessation efforts.
  4. Behavioral Therapy – Counseling, support groups, and therapy can be used to address triggers, cope with cravings, and manage stress.
  5. Get Support Online – Online education and support can be invaluable in helping you quit. That’s why Motivation Alliance offers a wide range of educational material on smoking and smoking-related illnesses through the health library. If you’re looking for a more structured program, check out the Interactive Learning Programs (ILPs)! These programs include an educational component and a 21-day logging pursuit to form healthier habits. Some ILPs to consider are Tobacco Free, COPD, Asthma, The Impact of Stress, and Managing Stress.

Quitting tobacco isn’t easy, but every step towards it is a step towards a longer, healthier, and happier life. This World No Tobacco Day – let’s remember to embrace the small changes that will lead us to a smoke-free tomorrow.



  • American Cancer Society. (2022). Health Risks of Smoking Tobacco.
  • American Cancer Society. (2022, June 23). Why People Start Using Tobacco, and Why It’s Hard to Stop.
  • Benowitz, N. L. (2010). Nicotine addiction. New England Journal of Medicine, 362(24), 2295–2303.
  • Bottorff, J. L., Haines-Saah, R., Kelly, M. T., Oliffe, J. L., Torchalla, I., Poole, N., & Greaves, L. (2009). Gender, smoking and tobacco reduction and cessation: A scoping review. International Journal for Equity in Health, 8(1), 1–14.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Smoking & Tobacco Use: Health Effects.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, October 29). CDC – fact sheet – health effects of cigarette smoking – smoking & tobacco use. Smoking and Tobacco Use; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
  • Parrott, A. C. (1999). Does cigarette smoking cause stress? The American Psychologist, 54(10), 817–820.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2020). Smoking and Cancer.
  • U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2020). Smoking and Immune Function.
  • World Health Organization. (2021). Tobacco.


We want you to be well and to live your best life. The content in this blog is provided for the purposes to educate and entertain you: our very important reader. It is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice from a trained healthcare professional.

If you have a medical condition or are under the care of a medical provider, please always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before undertaking a new health care regimen. To that point, never disregard medical advice or delay treatment for a medical condition because of something you read on this site.

Listen to your care providers as they know you and your condition best. Thank you for reading!

The Team at BSDI

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *