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American Academy of Nursing Statement of Support for World No Tobacco Day 2018

Impact of Tobacco Use on Development of Heart Disease and Stroke is 2018 Theme for Annual World Health Organization Campaign

Washington, DC (May 30, 2018) -- The American Academy of Nursing today expressed its support for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) celebration of World No Tobacco Day on May 31, 2018. With a theme focused on the direct impact that tobacco use has on the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, World No Tobacco Day 2018 is aligned with the Academy’s mission to serve the public by advancing health policy, practice and science, as well as its goal to influence the development and implementation of policy that improves the health of populations.

According to the WHO, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and 12% of all heart disease deaths are linked to active and passive smoking. Despite the devastating harm of tobacco on heart health and the availability of evidence-based strategies to reduce tobacco-related death and disease, the worldwide burden of tobacco use remains high. Patients who quit smoking can experience dramatic benefits in reducing their risk for heart attacks and stroke even if they are longtime smokers.

“The Academy stands ready to assist policy makers in actions and measures that governments and the public can take to reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco use,” said Academy President Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Moreover, the Academy supports the WHO’s call for increased efforts to ‘choose health, not tobacco.’”

Academy Fellows Linda Sarna, PhD, RN, FAAN; Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN; and Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAAN, leading experts on research addressing the harmful effects of tobacco use on cardiovascular health, urged nurses worldwide to raise awareness about the linkage of tobacco use and heart health. “From applying evidence in their daily practice to help prevent tobacco use, to utilizing tobacco cessation interventions, to advocating for stronger tobacco control legislation, nurses must use their power to curb the leading cause of preventable death in the world.”

In 2017 the Academy recognized Dr. Sarna and her colleague, Stella Aguinaga Bialous, DrPH, RN, FAAN, as Academy Edge Runners for Tobacco Free Nurses, their intervention that support nurses in assisting patients with tobacco dependence treatment, translating evidence into practice, and enhancing nurses’ involvement in tobacco control efforts nationally and internationally,


About the American Academy of Nursing: The American Academy of Nursing (www.AANnet.org) serves the public and the nursing profession by advancing health policy and practice through the generation, synthesis, and dissemination of nursing knowledge. The Academy's more than 2,500 Fellows are nursing's most accomplished leaders in education, management, practice, and research. They have been recognized for their extraordinary contributions to nursing and health care.