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WHO calls for stronger anti-tobacco policies

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World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged governments to adopt and enforce policies aimed at reducing the demand for tobacco in educational institutions, healthcare facilities, workplaces and sporting environments.

The global health body described tobacco epidemic as one of the biggest public health threats in the world, stating that the product “kills up to half of its users”.

WHO regional director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, at a press conference yesterday to mark the World No Tobacco Day, described smoking as the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which results in a painful cough and agonising breathing.

According to her, the risk of developing the disease is high among individuals who start smoking at a young age because tobacco smoke significantly slows lung development, adding that tobacco also exacerbates asthma, which contributes to disability.Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer, she added.


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