World Health Organization wants countries to raise tobacco tax

Faith Castro
June 2, 2018

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the global tobacco epidemic kills more than seven million people every year, of which almost 900,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke.

He said: '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.

As per the survey carried out by Sambandh Health Foundation and Gurugram Police, 23.7% of Haryana's population - 39.6% males and 5.6% females - consume tobacco in some form.

A new World Health Organization report reveals that tobacco wastes contains 7,000 toxic chemicals that poison the environment, including human carcinogens; tobacco smoke emissions contribute thousands of tons of human carcinogens, toxicants and greenhouse gasses to the environment.

"When I look at the rates of tobacco use, we have certainly come a long ways, but I personally believe a lot of work needs to be done in this area", said Petitpas Taylor. In many countries, this low awareness is substantial; for example in China, over 60% of the population is unaware smoking can cause heart attacks, according to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey.

Launching the WHO's global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco smoking, he said that industrialised countries are making faster progress than developing countries. About 2% of children aged 13-15 years (1.2 million) use smokeless tobacco products.

Over half of all WHO Member States have reduced demand for tobacco, and nearly one in eight are likely to meet the 30% reduction target by 2025.

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Cancers, heart attacks, strokes and lung disease are the main diseases associated with tobacco.

Sixty-four per cent of respondents said they are addicted and can't quit, while 25 per cent said smoking would not cause any health issues. Around 80 percent of the smokers globally belong to low and middle income countries. But with prevention, those deaths could be prevented, Bettcher stressed.

Quitting the habit is made more hard by the physical addiction to nicotine - the chemical stimulant in tobacco.

"Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 20-30 per cent". More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct smoking. She added that by taking a robust control measure on tobacco, governments can safeguard their countries future by protecting tobacco users and non-users from these deadly products, generating revenues to fund health and other social services, and saving their environments from the ravages of tobacco, the only legal product that maims and kills. These types of products eliminate the smoke and reduce the levels of harmful toxic chemicals while at the same time deliver the nicotine and ritual that millions of smokers look for.

In 2017, more than 7,000 phone calls were placed for help on smoking addiction, while 8,400 patients were treated for cigarette addiction at nine hospitals.

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.

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

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