Jamaica News, Montego Bay: Prevention Manager of the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) in the western region, Clifton Morris, says that on World No Tobacco Day, May 31, the focus will be on highlighting the many health risks associated with cigarette smoking.
Speaking at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Morris said the day will also be used to target the nation’s youth, “informing them that smoking is indeed a clear and present danger”.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that World No Tobacco Day 2018 will focus on the important link between tobacco and heart disease,” Mr. Morris noted.
“The theme for the day is ‘Tobacco…breaks your heart’. It seeks to increase awareness with the broader public about the impact of tobacco, and the exposed risk, such as second- and third-hand smoking,” Mr. Morris said.
Every year, the WHO and its partners, including the World Heart Federation (WHF), mark World No Tobacco Day to highlight the health and other risks associated with tobacco use and advocate for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Mr. Morris pointed out that tobacco continues to be a major problem globally, killing more than seven million people every year, and costing the global economy more than US$1.4 trillion annually in healthcare expenditure and lost productivity.
He added that while there are penalties locally for entrepreneurs who sell tobacco to underage children, “there is still a problem where access is concerned”.
“We do our regular monitoring and random checks at these local establishments. We realise that the problem with access still remains a challenge, but is something that we have to stay on top of,” Mr. Morris said.
“Here in Jamaica, it is fair to say, though, that we have shown tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use. We have to continue with our public outreach programmes and also step up on the enforcement aspect of things, where people can refrain from smoking in public spaces,” he added.
Mr. Morris said on World No Tobacco Day, in addition to highlighting the links between the use of tobacco products and heart and other cardiovascular diseases, the event will provide opportunities for the public, government and others to make commitments to promote heart health by protecting people from the use of tobacco products.
Source: JIS News