By Franca Ofili
The World Health Organization has revealed that as many as 146,000 Africans die from tobacco-related illnesses each year.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said this Thursday during a virtual press conference.
Moeti said tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and noted that “smoking damages almost every organ in the body”.
The director also said that “worldwide exposure to secondhand smoke kills more than 1.2 million people a year.”
She explained that the use of tobacco products other than cigarettes, such as vaporizers, was on the rise in Africa.
Moeti said quitting smoking is the way to reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke and other illnesses, noting that it will also increase life expectancy.
She added that “quitting smoking is hard, but today is a good day to start.
“Make the decision to live a life controlled by you and not by tobacco.
“It may seem impossible, or as if smoking isn’t a big deal. But what you don’t do today can end up causing future health problems or premature death, ”Moeti said.
She added that one in five adolescents in Africa now used tobacco, saying that “this has to change. Stop smoking and be part of the solution. (NAA)