The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people every year, World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed.
In a statement to mark World No Tobacco which fell yesterday, WHO said, more than 6 million of these deaths are as a result of direct tobacco use while around 890, 000 are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
WHO noted that in the statement that, around 80% of the 1.1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is high.
The statement explained that tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.
“In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income,” the statement said.
This year’s event was focused on the impact tobacco has on the cardiovascular health of people worldwide.
It was on the theme: “Tobacco breaks heart. Let’s unite against tobacco use to #beatNCDS.”
The campaign was intended to increase awareness on the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), including stroke, which is seen as one of the world’s leading causes of death.
Meanwhile, Vision for Alternative Development (VALD), a non-governmental organisation has expressed worry over the increasing rate of deaths caused by the use of tobacco related products in the country and has called for human centered measures to reduce the canker.
The NGO, in a statement, believed that eliminating the use of tobacco products can prevent millions of tobacco related death in the country.
It stressed that tobacco industry must be stopped and held accountable for the deaths their products cause to mankind.
Though some efforts have been made by government to enforce the tobacco control law, a lot more cost effective or no cost measures can be implemented to reduce tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
To this end, the organisation called on the ministry of health and all relevant authorities to ensure a comprehensive implementation of the national tobacco control laws and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
It stressed the need for the sector minister to ensure that all public places including hotels, restaurants, bus terminal among others completely smoke-free.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
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