Annette Haining the Marshall County Tobacco Education Coordinator for Saint Joseph Health System Community Health and Well Being is hosting a community event on Tuesday, May 31st, World No Tobacco Day. 

World No Tobacco Day is an annual awareness day taking place on 31 May. It was created in 1987 by Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness of the harms caused by tobacco products to people, public health, communities, and the environment. 

World No Tobacco Day aims to draw attention to the business practices of tobacco companies to capture generations of consumers and their interference in policy decisions that undermines effective tobacco control. 

Finally, World No Tobacco Day serves to highlight what WHO is doing to fight the tobacco epidemic that kills up to half its users and contributes to more than eight million people dying every year, and what people can do to protect future generations and allow everyone the chance to claim their right to health.

The local World No Tobacco Day event will take place on May 31st starting at 1 P.M. in River Park Square in Plymouth.  Volunteers will be working their way through River Park Square and into the downtown area to pick up cigarette butts.  Gloves and bags will be provided to volunteers. 

Haining presented the proposal to the Plymouth City Council on Monday evening and said, “Studies show that cigarette butts are the most littered item on the earth.” She said the cigarette butts contain toxic chemicals including lead and arsenic and are a danger to the public plus they don’t decompose for 10 years.  She also said there are 30 retailers in Plymouth selling tobacco products including vaping items. 

Plymouth City Council members were all in favor of the event and Councilman Greg Compton even volunteered to help.  Haining also asked for members of the Mayor’s Youth Council to participate in the event too.  Once collected the cigarette butts will be placed in an air-tight container and on display in the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce window.