Nigerians advised to Quit Smoking

Nigerians have been enjoined to desist from cigarette smoking in order to safeguard themselves against the dangers it constitutes in the human body.The Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf dropped the hint in a press briefing to mark the 2024 World No Tobacco Day Celebration.

The Commissioner stated that tobacco is the major risk factor for non-communicable diseases associated with a higher risk of developing severe outcomes from the disease and eventually death. Dr. Labaran said that identifiable risks from smoking include chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, coronary heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, renal failure, cancers, intestinal ischemia, among others. He added that harms from tobacco begin even before birth, as pregnant women who smoke (or as second-hand smoke) give birth to infants at higher risk of congenital disorders, cancer, lung diseases, and sudden death. “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally, tobacco accounts for more than 8 million deaths annually, with more than 7 million of those deaths coming from the direct use of tobacco, while about 1.2 million was as a result of non-smokers who were exposed to second-hand smoke. The WHO report also shows that over 80% of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low and middle income countries.“Globally, 942 million men and 175 million women aged 15 or older were current smokers. It has been noted recently that the prevalence of tobacco smoking is increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, including Nigeria (Tobacco Atlas, 2018). “In Nigeria, the 2012 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), showed that 5.6% (4.5 million) Nigerians, 15 years and older, were currently using tobacco products of which 3.9% (3.1 million) were current smokers”, he statistically explained. The Commissioner lamentably explained that a study has shown that youths smoking cigarettes in Kano were 6.2% (boys 11.4%, girls 1.8%), adding that the trend is likely occurring because of the income growth and increasing cigarette affordability as well as the tobacco industry’s strategy of aggressive marketing in those countries.Dr. Labaran frowned that unless governments implement stronger tobacco control policies, including creating more awareness on the danger of tobacco smoking and raise the taxes to increase prices of tobacco products among other measures, tobacco smoking will continue to rise. He noted with satisfaction that since the inception of the administration of Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, in collaboration with partners and other stakeholders remarkable achievements in the fight against tobacco smoking in the state have been recorded including training of law enforcement officers from several law enforcement agencies on enforcing the National Tobacco Control Act (NTC) 2015 that contains several provisions that provides protection of children such as the ban on sale and purchase of tobacco and tobacco products by minors.Others, according to the Commissioner, include the currently conducting Data on Youth and Tobacco in Africa (DaYTA) survey for adolescents aged between 10-17 years, planning between the ministries of health and education to begin the establishment of Tobacco-Free Clubs in some selected secondary schools as well as planning by the ministry of health to sensitize owners and managers of public places (both and outdoors) like hotels, motor parks, markets etc on the enforcement of the smoke-free provision of the NTC Act and Regulations.Signed:*Ibrahim Abdullahi* Information OfficerMinistry of Health 10 June 2024

Previous Post
Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *