from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – TOBACCO-induced heart disease kills 1,9 million people globally each year.
This equates to one in five of all deaths from heart disease.
The findings are contained in a new brief released ahead of World Heart Day, marked on September 29.
The World Health Organization (WHO) World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia released the study.
Smokeless tobacco is responsible for around 200 000 deaths from coronary heart disease per year, according to the findings.
Moreover, high blood pressure and heart disease increase the risk of severe coronavirus (COVID-19).
In March, South Africa banned the sale of tobacco as part of restrictions against the spread of COVID-19.
Dr Vinayak Prasad, Unit Lead of the WHO No Tobacco Unit, said governments had a responsibility to protect the health of their people and help reverse the tobacco epidemic.
“Smoke-free reduces the number of tobacco-related hospital admissions, which is more important than ever in the context of the current pandemic,” Prasad said.
Tobacco control is seen as a key element for reducing heart disease.
Activists urged governments to help tobacco users quit by increasing tax on tobacco products, enforcing bans on tobacco advertising and offering services to help people give up tobacco.
– CAJ News