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Tobacco and cardiovascular disease

Date: 31 May 2018

World No Tobacco Day 2018 will focus on the impact tobacco has on the cardiovascular health of people worldwide.

Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

Despite the devastating harms of tobacco to heart health, and the availability of solutions to reduce tobacco-related death and disease, knowledge among large sections of the public that tobacco is one of the leading causes of CVD is low.

The campaign will increase awareness on the:

  • link between tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, which combined are the world's leading causes of death;
  • feasible actions and measures that key audiences, including governments and the public, can take to reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco.

Goals of the World No Tobacco Day 2018 campaign

World No Tobacco Day 2018 aims to:

- Highlight the links between the use of tobacco products and heart and other cardiovascular diseases.

- Increase awareness within the broader public of the impact tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke have on cardiovascular health.

- Provide opportunities for the public, governments and others to make commitments to promote heart health by protecting people from use of tobacco products.

- Encourage countries to strengthen implementation of the proven MPOWER tobacco control measures contained in the WHO FCTC.

World No Tobacco Awards

President of Uruguay to receive WHO Director-General's Special Recognition Award for World No Tobacco Day

As well as the Special Recognition Award to Dr. Tabaré Vazquez, five other organizations and individuals from the Americas will also be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the fight against tobacco use in the region. These are: The Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), Argentina; Dr. Guillermo Paraje, Chile; The Ministry of Public Health, Guyana; Dr. Beatriz Champagne, United States; and Dr. Eduardo Bianco, Uruguay.

More information



"A conversation about Tobacco and Heart Disease"

Friday, 8 June 2018 - 11:00 am EDT

Connect via Webex to participate in a conversation on the effects of tobacco use in cardiovascular health. Click on the image or here for more information

evento WNTD2018 web

FacebookLIVE, "Tobacco breaks hearts"

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 - 10 am EDT

Join PAHO-WHO Facebook page the chat with PAHO advisors about how tobacco use harms your heart.

Click here or in the image to see the recording (in Spanish)

fb live WNTD2018 web

Facts about tobacco, heart and other cardiovascular diseases

Facts about tobacco, heart and other cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide, and tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to approximately 12% of all heart disease deaths. Tobacco use is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure.

The global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.

The WHO MPOWER measures are in line with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and can be used by governments to reduce tobacco use and protect people from NCDs. These measures include:

- Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies;

- Protect people from exposure to tobacco smoke by creating completely smoke-free indoor public places, workplaces and public transport;

- Offer help to quit tobacco (cost-covered, population-wide support, including brief advice by health care providers and national toll-free quit lines);

- Warn about the dangers of tobacco by implementing plain/standardized packaging, and/or large graphic health warnings on all tobacco packages, and implementing effective anti-tobacco mass media campaigns that inform the public about the harms tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure.

- Enforce comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and

- Raise taxes on tobacco products and make them less affordable.