Quit smoking for your heart

Although there is no single intervention that can reduce the risks to heart health by tobacco use, Jamaica continues to implement measures in keeping with best practice and treaty obligations: protection from tobacco smoke with the promulgation of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations 2013 and its 2014 amendments.

Tobacco use and second-hand smoke publicity are key causes of cardiovascular illnesses reminiscent of coronary heart assaults and stroke.

He also urged everybody to play a role in promoting healthy hearts by committing not to use tobacco, helping others to quit, and protecting all people, including family members, workers and children, from tobacco smoke.

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day Thursday, the United Nations health agency hailed that smoking had declined significantly since year 2000, but warned that there were still far too many people indulging in the risky habit.

This year's campaign focuses on the important link between tobacco and heart disease with the theme: "Tobacco Breaks Heart: Choose Health Not Tobacco". More than 5 million smokers worldwide have already completely abandoned cigarette smoking and switched to IQOS, PMI's heated tobacco product, with 10,000 smokers switching every single day.

In his message to mark the occasion, WHO Regional Director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti called for increased efforts to further raise awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco use.

A study a year ago found that despite decades of tobacco control policies, population growth had meant there was an increased number of smokers.

15 years later, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.

Commenting on the decline in Swiss smokers, Daniel Dauwalder, a spokesman for the Federal Office of Public Health, pointed out that Swiss tobacco legislation was "relatively liberal".

"Smoking spans beyond splurging hard-earned money on a non-productive habit that is highly addictive, it involves the inhalation of more than 4,000 chemicals into the lungs which are then absorbed into the body, causing a large number of serious health concerns".

China and India have the highest numbers of smokers worldwide, accounting for 307 million and 106 million, respectively, of the world's 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show.

Despite the overall decline, World Health Organization regrets that only one in eight countries is on track to meet a voluntary target of a 30% cut in tobacco use by 2025, based on a 2010 baseline. "Many people are unaware that tobacco is one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke".

Despite the apparent lack of progress in tackling the total number of smokers, the report highlights that only one in five people smoke today, compared to more than one in four, 18 years ago.

According to a 2016 USA study, electronic cigarettes are also just as damaging to gums and teeth as conventional tobacco cigarettes. Eighty percent of these deaths occur in low to middle-income countries.

  • Santos West