WHO Tasks Govt, Stakeholders to Stem the Tide of Tobacco-Related Diseases

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Dr Douglas Bettcher, Director, Department for the Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases at World Health Organization, said tobacco use was falling globally but it still killed more than seven million people a year.

It is a day where awareness is spread about the negative effects of tobacco and how smoking is a great health risk. "Many people are unaware that tobacco is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke". In India and Indonesia, more than half of adults do not know smoking can cause stroke. He said high authorities need to increase the taxes on tobacco to protect our present and next generation.

"It is shocking that with just a puff of cigarette, a smoker breathes more than 4,000 chemicals including arsenic which is used in rat poison and formaldehyde used to embark dead bodies". Due to population growth, the number of smokers in the world has remained relatively stable at around 1.1 billion. In 2000, the percentage of male smokersworldwide stood at 43% before falling to 34% in 2015, while over the same period the percentage of women smokers fell from 11% to 6%.Scroll over the chart for details. Over a million deaths are caused by second hand smoking. The concept of tobacco harm reduction remains a top agenda of the industry and has been vigorously explored.

According to him, "the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people each year". The use of Bidis account for a significant proportion of tobacco use.

"Tobacco smoke thickens the blood, increases the risk of blood clots, narrow the arteries and restricts oxygen in the blood", said Duque.

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The scale of tobacco-related devastation of human health is shocking, but as Ghebreyesus said these deaths are preventable.

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

"The data show what we have anecdotally known for decades- that many smokers have the desire to quit, but not the means to match it", Derek Yach, president of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, said. As per data, 19 per cent of men, 2 per cent of women and 10.7 per cent of all adults now smoke tobacco, while 29.6 per cent of men, 12.8 per cent of women and 21.4 per cent of all adults now use smokeless tobacco. We will see fewer Canadians starting to smoke, more Canadians quitting, and a new generation of healthier Canadians with a greater awareness of how important it is to never pick up that first cigarette.

In Maharashtra, as per GATS-2, 35.5 per cent of men, 17 per cent of women and 26.6 per cent of all adults now either smoke and or use smokeless tobacco.

Consultant pulmonologist SIH Dr. Aftab Akhtar shared that in Pakistan, smoking causes an estimated 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and 80 percent in women. People and communities can also contribute to creating a tobacco-free Sierra Leone and commit to never take up or stop using tobacco products.

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