World No-Tobacco Day – Experts Against Illicit Trade

The Ministry of Public Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO) alongside other partners in the fight against the use of tobacco products, last Tuesday, June 9, 2015 in Yaounde commemorated the World No-Tobacco Day, nine days after the official date on May 31. The commemoration which held on the theme “Stop illicit trade of tobacco products,” was chaired by the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Public Health, Alim Hayatou. Stakeholders, through sketches highlighted the health risks associated with tobacco use and aocated for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.

Statistics from the WHO indicate that the global tobacco epidemic kills’ nearly six million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Unless there are urgent actions from different governments and stakeholders, the epidemic will kill more than eight million people every year by 2030. It was also revealed that more than 80 per cent of preventable deaths caused by the use of tobacco will be among people living in low and middle-income countries.

Alim Hayatou said the problem of illicit trade of tobacco products is a global one that needs the efforts of everybody especially as tobacco is a veritable problem in the health sector killing many young people at a high rate. He outlined government’s efforts to curb the use of tobacco and the illicit trade of the product as it takes tax revenue away from the government, which could have otherwise been spent on the provision of public services.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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