Tobacco:79 men and 37 women die in kenya every week due to tobacco use!

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-Tobacco-related diseases kill more than any other preventable cause of death in the world-

Tobacco smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to die from infection, kidney disease and, maybe, breast cancer/Courtesy NPR

By Hilda Ngetich

Tobacco-related deaths are increasing over the years in the world.

Apart from tobacco being a medicinal plant, when abused, causes addiction as 70 out of the 5,000 chemicals contained in the tobacco are carcinogenic.

Tobacco-related diseases kill more than any other preventable cause of death in the world and they are majorly non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes,stroke,tuberculosis,hearing loss,vision loss and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) like chronic bronchitis.

One in six deaths by NCD’s is related to tobacco hence this is a major risk factor for NCDs.

“Non- communicable diseases are on the rise due to increased consumption of tobacco,” said Dorcas Kiptui,Head of Tobacco Control Ministry of Health.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) statistics over 8 million people die per year due to tobacco- related diseases in the world,7.4 million being due to direct smoking and the remaining 1 million being due to passive smoking.

According to the Ministry of Health, more than 6,000 Kenyans die of tobacco-related diseases every year, 79 men and 37 women dying per week. At least 220,000 children and 2,737,000 adults are estimated to be using  tobacco per day.

“Among the youth aged 13 and 15 years tobacco is consumed in equal numbers between boys and girls,” said Dorcas Kiptui.

According to WHO, 1.4 trillion people in the whole world have been affected by the tobacco smoking, getting non communicable diseases hence spending a lot on healthcare and reduced work productivity.

WHO has added that there is no safe tobacco product or safe level of consumption as products like cigarettes and vape put at risk the sustainability of the progress made in reducing tobacco consumption.

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