Interview: Smoking harmful to entire human body, not just lungs, says expert

Richard B. Levine  Sipa USA  TNS

Dr Kyaw Kan Kaung, director of the Department of Public Health for Non-Communicable Diseases, told The Myanmar Times that the government will further intensify measures to control tobacco use and sale.

He said: "More than 19,000 people die from tobacco use or second hand smoke exposure every day".

"Casual exposure to second hand smoke, a common air pollutant, can also cause smoking-related diseases including CHD to a non-smoker", he said, adding that it was found that smokers were nearly twice likely to suffer a heart attack as compared to non-smokers.

"Other steps include creating completely smoke-free indoor workplaces and public places, instituting hard-hitting warnings and graphic pictures about the dangers of smoking on cigarette packaging, and banning tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship".

Yearly tobacco kills seven million individuals all over the world - greater than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria mixed. "This would represent a breakthrough and transformation of our industry as it produces vaporised nicotine without the harmful side effects from tobacco smoke".

The new clip comes after a separate video earlier this month showed the difference in healthy lungs and those of a smoker who got through a pack-a-day for 20 years.

WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan says tobacco threatens the world.

While 92.4% of adults considered that smoking causes severe illnesses, 95.6% of adults believed the same for smokeless tobacco. "We are committed to the next phase of our work, which aims to drive down tobacco use by Canadians to less than 5% by 2035".

In China, for example, more than six out of 10 people are unaware that smoking can cause a heart attack. That's why we have significantly increased funding for Canada's Tobacco Strategy, which will allow us to remain a world leader in reducing overall smoking rates.

According to the report, no fewer that 1.1 billion people are smokers in the world today, the same number as at the turn of the century.

Most smokers are aware of the health risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.

WHO's survey found that when tobacco usage falls in one country it is usually offset by the consumption of such substances in countries where there are lax regulations and controls on tobacco.

Youth: Worldwide, about 7%, or just over 24 million children aged 13-15, smoke cigarettes (17 million boys and 7 million girls). "You may have heard this a million times, smoking is risky to your health, but we still want to remind you every time we have a chance", said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during a press conference Thursday at the DOH Central office in Manila.

According to the WHO Global Report on Tobacco Prevalence Trends 2000-2025, this is more common in low- and middle-income countries, the specialist said.

Yet in many countries, there is very low awareness that smoking significantly increases your chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

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