Apr 29, 2011, 2:56 PM
Today May 31st is World No Tobacco Day.
This day is meant to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use, and for advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption.
According to health experts, tobacco use is the second cause of death globally, after hypertension, and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide.
This figure is alarming, and calls for more efforts to address the problem through raising the awareness of the community members in this regard.
The statistics of the World Health Organization, WHO, revealed that tobacco causes the death of 68% of non-infectious diseases such as cardiovascular and heart diseases, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.
Studies also show that the consumption rate of tobacco is high among the younger generations and adolescents.
In fact, tobacco is the second cause of death in the world!
About 5 million people die of smoking each year while the number is expected to increase to 10 million by the year 2020.
The reason behind this is the increasing number of smokers all over the world, its cheap price, direct and indirect advertisements and less awareness of the dangers of the different kinds of tobacco.
Even though significant efforts were made in The Gambia, such as enactment of anti-tobacco bill by the National Assembly, tobacco consumption is still very high.
As we mark this day, we call on the law enforcement agencies, particularly the police to enforce the law to the letter for public safety and health.
Present and future generations must be urgently protected from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption, and exposure to tobacco smoke.