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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Doctors charge FG on anti-smoking policies

Doctors have called on the Federal Government to pass the anti-tobacco bill into law to reduce the population of Nigerians dying from tobacco-related diseases.

The Africa Regional President, WONCA, Dr. Sylvester Osinowo, who spoke in Lagos at the commemoration of the 2012 World Family Doctor day tagged, “Healthy Living: The Role of the Family Doctor in Smoking Cessation and in the Community, said in order to reduce deaths from diseases caused by smoking, government must enforce stricter anti-smoking laws
According to him, about five million people were affected globally by cigarette smoking in 1999 and the value was expected to rise to 10 million by 2020, out of which seven million would be from developing countries including Nigeria.
Osinowo stated that smoking had been directly linked to the increasing cases of coronary heart diseases, cancer and reduction in fertility for women.
“Tobacco consumption causes multiple health risks as cigarette smokers are 2.4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than non-smokers. World Health Organisation cancer agency also indicates that smoking has been linked to about 90 per cent of all lung cancer cases.
“The economic burden includes direct medical care cost for tobacco-induced illnesses, absence from work, and reduction in productivity and death.” he said.He noted that primary health care centres and anti-smoking clinics in tertiary institutions and communities should be made to champion these programmes due to their proximity to youths.