10th December 2019
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Quit Smoking Today

A new WHO report shows many countries are still not adequately implementing policies, including helping people quit tobacco, that can save lives from tobacco. Many governments are making progress in the fight against tobacco, with 5 billion people today living in countries that have introduced smoking bans, graphic warnings on packaging and other effective tobacco control measures – four times more people than a decade ago. 

The most effective measures from the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) that are proven to reduce demand for tobacco are outlined below. These measures are taken from the “MPOWER” interventions :

  1. Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies.
  2. Protect people from tobacco smoke.
  3. Offer help to quit tobacco use.
  4. Warn people about the dangers of tobacco.
  5. Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.
  6. Raise taxes on tobacco.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said governments should implement cessation services as part of efforts to ensure universal health coverage for their citizens.

“Quitting tobacco is one of the best things any person can do for their own health,” said Dr Tedros. “The MPOWER package gives governments the practical tools to help people kick the habit, adding years to their life and life to their years.”

Tobacco use has declined proportionately in most countries, but population growth means the total number of people using tobacco has remained stubbornly high. Currently, there are an estimated 1.1 billion smokers, around 80% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

The US Centre for Disease Control and Preventation says smoking can cause lung disease by damaging your airways and the small air sacs (alveoli) found in your lungs. Lung diseases caused by smoking include COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer.

The Federal Ministry of health in Nigeria warns that smokers are liable to die young!

Feature Image: University of Oxford

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