A general medical practitioner at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, Dr. Mena Ewhrubjakcor, has called on people to avoid exposure to tobacco in any form.
Ewhrubjakcor said, non-smokers who expose themselves to active smokers are at higher risk than the passive smokers.
He said, “tobacco is one of those substances in form of a drug, some smoke it, and some sniff it. There’s what we call passive and active smoking. Those who consume it are active smokers while those who are around people who smoke it and inhale the smoke are passive smokers but passive smoking is even more dangerous than active smoking and that’s what most people don’t know.
"Those that are around people that smoke it are at higher risk of the effects of tobacco than those who smoke it directly. Tobacco has effect on the respiratory system particularly.
"There is what is called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an irreversible reduction in the caliber of respiratory airways to the extent that the person will start experiencing difficulty in breathing. Tobacco also contributes to some other brain disorder which we cannot say is the direct cause of it but it prompts it.”
He further said “for those who are addicted should stop smoking, there’s microcline chewing gum that they can chew to win over addiction and reduce the huge to smoke.”
According to WHO, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for 10 per cent of adult deaths worldwide.
Tobacco kills nearly 6 million people every year, of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco – related disease.
The global tobacco epidemic will kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. More than 80 per cent of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries, WHO said.
As the world mark the World No Tobacco Day come May 31, WHO and partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco so as to reduce tobacco consumption and save lives.