Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death, disease

Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death, disease

Tobacco use damages nearly every organ in the body.

Akinbode Oluwafemi of the ERA/FoEN who spoke at the Garki Ultra-modern market yesterday where the activists addressed the public in the three major languages, said the establishment of tobacco control fund would become useful to government agencies to enforce the nine provisions of the NTC Act.such as smoke-free public places, restriction on under-age access and ban of sale in single sticks.

Further, Acharya cautioned that the coming generations must be timely protected from the devastating consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.

According to ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), in India, each year almost 0.16 million people develop cancer, 4.5 million develop heart diseases and 3.9 million develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a result of consumption of tobacco.

The report highlighted the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases - the world's leading causes of death - which are responsible for 44 percent of all NCD deaths, or 17.9 million deaths annually. Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco have caused adverse effects on the health and Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that causes addiction in smokers. If the trend continues on the current trajectory, the world will only achieve a 22% reduction by 2025.

China and India have the highest numbers of smokers worldwide, accounting for 307 million and 106 million, respectively, of the world's 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show. "For females, 11 percent smoked in 2000 compared to 6 percent in 2015", it said. This tobacco epidemic is one of the "biggest public health threats" according to the WHO.

Also, she called on member-states to implement measures, which could strengthen tobacco control, as found in the World Health Organization framework convention on tobacco control.The effective measures, according to her, include increasing tobacco taxes and prices, which will save lives as well as generate revenues for governments. About 4% of children aged 13-15 years (13 million) use smokeless tobacco products. Around 80 percent of the smokers globally belong to low and middle income countries.

Dr Svetlana Axelrod, WHO's Assistant Director-General for NCDs and mental health, says: "We know what policies and actions can increase tobacco quit rates, prevent people from starting using tobacco, and reduce demand. Our best chance of success is through global unity and strong multisectoral action against the tobacco industry".

The WHO FCTC entered into force in February 2005 and has today 181 Parties covering more than 90% of the world's population.

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