'Tobacco Breaks Hearts' main theme for World No Tobacco Day

Some smokers have turned to e-cigarettes as a substitute

Some smokers have turned to e-cigarettes as a substitute

Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director, Department for the Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases at World Health Organization, told journalists in Geneva that tobacco use is falling globally but it still kills more than seven million people a year.

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.

"In the two years since the Royal College of Physicians found that "harm reduction has huge potential to prevent death and disability from tobacco use", we continue to largely ignore the fact that many smokers do not want to quit, but obtain pleasure from smoking". It says one of the major factors impeding low- and middle-countries is the tobacco industry with its aggressive promotion of tobacco products, especially to young people, and its ongoing efforts to hide the dangers of smoking.

Despite all efforts at tobacco control, w.h.o says annually, the substance costs households and governments over $1.4 trillion, an equivalent of about 504 trillion Naira.

Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure are the major causes of CVD, including heart attacks and stroke, contributing to approximately 3 million deaths per year globally. And it is the people of these countries that are the targets of intensive tobacco industry marketing.

Commenting on the decline in Swiss smokers, Daniel Dauwalder, a spokesman for the Federal Office of Public Health, pointed out that Swiss tobacco legislation was "relatively liberal".

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The organisation urged governments to adopt these measures as it would help to reduce tobacco use and protect people from Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Canada's Tobacco Strategy will take focused action to help Canadians quit smoking, including groups of Canadians with the highest rates of tobacco use.

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel will flag off a campaign on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on Thursday.

Experts warn of a health time bomb in countries the least able to afford it, where medical facilities will be put under strain from an expected rise in smoking-related diseases, and political systems less able to resist intensive tobacco lobbying. But countries must do more to monitor tobacco use in all its forms - not only tobacco smoking. The report shows that worldwide, 27 per cent smoked tobacco in 2000 compared to 20 per cent in 2016. The smoke-free products are widely available across the OECD countries today making it convenient for people to switch from local cigarettes to electronic cigarettes.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including tar and others that can narrow arteries and damage blood vessels. "We are committed to the next phase of our work, which aims to drive down tobacco use by Canadians to less than 5% by 2035".

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