Six million people die from smoking globally every year

Richard B. Levine  Sipa USA  TNS

Richard B. Levine Sipa USA TNS

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on governments worldwide to increase tobacco taxes and make the product unaffordable, just as it lamented that deaths occasioned by tobacco use as well as global tobacco epidemic was up to seven million people yearly.

"The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made", Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO's prevention of noncommunicable diseases department, told a news briefing. "Even passive smokers have a 25 to 30% added risk of developing heart diseases, second-hand smoke also increases risk of strokes by 25 to 30%".

"More than 104 million people in India alone continue to imperil their health by using combusted tobacco every day".

Around 40,000 people die of smoking-related diseases in the country every year, and numerous diseases like cancers, cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are leading death causes in Vietnam, he noted.

The high level of carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen the blood carries, causing vital organs such as heart, lungs, brain don't receive enough oxygen to perform everyday functions.

He noted that most people are aware that tobacco use causes cancer and lung diseases, but many don't know that tobacco also causes heart diseases and stroke, the world's leading killers.

Of 13 countries the foundation surveyed, the majority of smokers in each consider themselves addicted to cigarette, ranging from 60% in India to 91%in Japan.

The theme of World Tobacco Day 2018 was "Tobacco and heart disease".

He said people can be protected from tobacco by banning its use in public places.

The new packaging rules for tobacco products prohibit promotional information, branding and logos, and were firmly opposed by Big Tobacco.

'Measures that reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco include making all indoor public and workplaces completely smoke-free and promoting use of tobacco package warnings that demonstrate the health risks of tobacco'.

According to the Public Health France, this decline is the most significant one seen in the past decade.

Country response: Over half of all WHO Member States have reduced demand for tobacco, and nearly one in four are likely to meet the 30% reduction target by 2025. "With abundance of information available in the web, we hope everyone gets the right content from credible sources", he said. Women and children are most vulnerable and at risk from the health effects of second-hand smoke.

Over the years, WHO and multilateral health agencies have encouraged global tobacco regulations and advocacy on the potential health risks of tobacco consumption.

The minister stressed the need for decisive measures and political will to deal with the high figures of tobacco consumption in the country.

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