-Says increased tax will reduce related deaths
As Nigerians prepare to join the rest of the World to mark World No Tobacco Day, Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs is urging corporate and public institutions to embark on an aggressive campaign on the dangers of smoking.
Dr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem said despite the fact that smoking kills, many people are still not aware of its dangers to human health and its contribution to air pollution.
“Experts have analyzed cigarettes to be highly engineered products designed to cause addiction and which often kill. Cigarettes are highly addictive due to the presence of nicotine in the tobacco”
Increased awareness, Dr. Abdullateef noted is essential to get people easily informed of the problems and health complications caused by the tobacco chewing or smoking. He said this will prevent the health hazards and make the world healthy for people.
According to World Health Organization, about 6 million deaths is recorded each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
“Cigarette contains Nicotine. Medical experts have observed that Nicotine addiction is very bad for the health which is lethal and known as brain “wanting” disease which can never be cured. It can only be arrested. It binds the brain dopamine pathways just like other illegal drugs, meth, alcohol, heroin and etc”
The Commissioner explained that smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable death, stressing that tobacco smoking is enormously harmful to people’s health.
“Cigarettes according to the American Lung Association contain about 600 ingredients. When they burn, they generate more than 7,000 chemicals. Many of those chemicals are poisonous and at least 69 of them can cause cancer. Many of the same ingredients are found in cigars and in tobacco used in pipes and hookahs. According to the National Cancer Institute, cigars have a higher level of carcinogens, toxins, and tar than cigarettes”, he Said.
The Commissioner implored parents to desist from exposing children to smoke and sending them cigarettes stressing that many innocents citizens have become second smokers due to the polluted air they inhaled.
“It is important to enforce the law that prohibited smoking at public places considering the increasing cases of death related diseases. Tobacco companies and its distributors should be levied with high tax because of the harm they are causing to people”
World No Tobacco Day takes place every year on May 31. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to its negative health effects.
This year’s world no tobacco day is themed “Get Ready for Plain Packaging”.