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WHO-ESMO-Charité Berlin Editorial on Tobacco Cessation and the Role of the Medical Oncologist

ESMO Supports WHO’s World No Tobacco Day
31 May 2023

On World No Tobacco Day 2023, ESMO published an editorial in ESMO Open entitled: Tobacco cessation and the role of ESMO and medical oncologists: addressing the specific needs of cancer patients in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The editorial supports a focus of ESMO’s mission to reduce the burden of cancer, which includes promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing cancer. As far back as 2008, ESMO published the ‘ESMO position paper: The perspective and role of medical oncologists in cancer prevention’, noting that medical oncologists should inform their patients about lifestyle and environmental factors, which include smoking, explaining how they can adversely impact cancer treatment and survival.

It is estimated that 2.5 million cancer deaths were attributed to smoking in 2019. The American Lung Association notes that “More people die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer; it's responsible for close to 80% of lung cancer cases”.  

This editorial, co-authored by WHO, ESMO and Charité Berlin seeks to raise awareness of actions that medical oncologists can take to contribute to tobacco cessation.

The  editorial highlights

About World No Tobacco Day

The Member States of the World Health Organization created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 and in 1988 passed a Resolution for its celebration every year on 31 May.

The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2023 is to “Grow food, not tobacco”. It is accompanied by a WHO report calling on countries *to stop subsidizing tobacco farming and support more sustainable crops that could feed millions”, considering that more than 300 million people globally are faced with acute food insecurity.

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