Tobacco (103) WHO: 100 reasons to quit tobacco

1 June, 2023

On World No Tobacco Day, WHO provides 100 reasons to quit tobacco.

In addition to the physical effects, the list highlights social and self-image issues such as:

Everything stinks! From your skin, to your whole house, your clothes, and your fingers and breath.

Tobacco causes teeth to yellow and creates excess dental plaque.

Smoking and chewing tobacco causes bad breath.

Tobacco makes your skin wrinkly, making you look older faster. Smoking prematurely ages the skin by wearing away proteins that give the skin elasticity, depleting it of vitamin A and restricting blood flow.

These wrinkles are more apparent around the lips and eyes and tobacco also makes skin leathery and dry.

Tobacco smoking increases the risk of developing psoriasis, a noncontagious inflammatory skin condition that leaves itchy, oozing red patches all over the body.

Tobacco use can affect social interactions and relationships negatively.

Quitting means there are no restrictions on where you can go – you can mingle socially, without feeling isolated or having to go outside to smoke.

One study found that smokers burn through an average of $1.4 million in personal costs, includes spending on cigarettes, medical costs and lower wages brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.

The list also includes a video that says "Hundred of millions of tobacco users are not aware that tobacco causes heart disease. But now, you do. Potect your heart and choose health, not tobacco"

The same could be said about the vast majority of diseases caused by tobacco. Every person needs to know and truly understand the huge range of harms - health, economic, social, environmental - caused by tobacco.

New ways are needed to publicise 'reasons to quit tobacco'. For example, could the '100 reasons' be packaged as a hard-hitting video? Doubtless there are already similar videos available. Would HIFA members like to recommend short (eg 2-minute) and longer videos that powerfully get the message across?

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: