More Africans smoke, die of tobacco-induced sicknesses, says WHO

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This year, 65 patients sought treatement up to April this year, said Minister of Health Dato Paduka Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Jaafar, in his message for World No Tobacco Day, which falls annually on May 31.

Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide, with tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure contributing to approximately 12% of all heart disease deaths.

Officials with Alberta Health Services marked World No Tobacco Day on Thursday by highlighting the many programs and services in place to help people quit smoking and all forms of tobacco. Most of the cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and cancer types, including some 80-85% of lung cancer are caused by long-term smoking. More than 600,000 nonsmokers are dying each year from secondhand smoke wordwide and 1/3rd of them are children, he said.

"WHO has estimated that tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) is now responsible for the death of about six million people across the world each year with numerous deaths occurring prematurely".

Such continuous exposure in the long-term can increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by around 30 per cent.

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The focus this year is "Tobacco and Heart Disease" to emphasize impact tobacco has on the cardiovascular health of people across the globe. "You may have heard this a million times, smoking is unsafe to your health, but we still want to remind you every time we have a chance", said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during a press conference Thursday at the DOH Central office in Manila. An official statement issued on Thursday said that according to a new World Health Organization report tobacco use had declined since 2000, but the reduction was insufficient to meet globally agreed targets aimed at protecting people from death, cardiovascular diseases and other NCDs.

Other than the Asian countries, millions of smokers across the world are making changes like never before when it comes to cigarette smoking. It also calls for hard-hitting warning and graphic pictures about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packaging. "Along with issuing fines, we will also spread awareness on tobacco consumption", said Ravinder Kumar, public relations officer, Gurugram police.

The organisation said it was concerned that the number of lives lost as a result of tobacco use, but noted that the measures would save lives as well as generate money for governments. The WHO FCTC is a milestone in the promotion of public health. "With abundance of information available in the web, we hope everyone gets the right content from credible sources", he said. Let us choose health, not tobacco, Moeti advised.

While 19% of men constitute the smokers, 2% of women and 10.7% (99.5 million) of all adults now smoke tobacco, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted by conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) along with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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