World Health Organization ramps up war on tobacco (video included)

Richard B. Levine  Sipa USA  TNS

"It's an irony that in coming 24 hours, 2,739 people will lose their lives due to cancer caused by use of tobacco and other tobacco products.because the quit rate is very low - only about three per cent in India", Sambandh Health Foundation trustee Sanjay Seth said. It is also the world's leading case of non-communicable disease deaths, responsible for 44 per cent of all NCD deaths or 17.9 million deaths annually.

"In Myanmar, smoking and betel chewing have increased nationwide".

Tobacco causes over two million deaths from cardiovascular diseases every year. This increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

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. Further, 80 per cent of the more than one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is highest.

Most people know that using tobacco causes cancer and lung disease, but many people aren't aware that tobacco also causes heart disease and stroke - the world's leading killers. According to the report, Uganda has about 1.1 million daily smokers, out of which one million are males and 180,000 women. It also calls for hard-hitting warning and graphic pictures about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packaging. The assertion was the result of a Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in affiliation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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The WHO clinched a landmark treaty in 2005, now ratified by 180 countries, that calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and taxes to discourage use. 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. Smoking tobacco cigarettes each day was associated with almost three times the risk, and using both together on a daily basis leads to five times the risk of heart attack, when compared to non-smokers.

Now, the specialist added, in terms of tobacco industry consumer protection, higher-income countries are making faster progress than their lower-income counterparts.

Hong said the stamps will be a multidimensional message helping with the implementation of the national strategy on anti-tobacco harms until 2020 and the law on prevention and control of tobacco harms.

Released by the World Health Organization (WHO), it aims to raise awareness of the effect of cigarettes on the heart and encourage smokers to quit.

The WHO forecasts declines in global volume and sales value by the start of the next decade, but while Europe and America are kicking the habit, in the near East and Africa tobacco consumption is rising.

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