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Tobacco remains the leading cause of death among NCDs – CISLAC

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An NGO Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases, (NCDs)

Mr Solomon Adogo, Expert and Program Officer with CISLAC stated this at a one day multi- stakeholders engagement on tobacco taxation on Thursday in Bauchi.

He said tobacco use remains the leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases, NCDs as it is directly linked to a high burden of cancer, heart diseases and stroke.

“There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 chemicals.
“At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic,” he said.

He asserted that tobacco use poses threats to public health, adding that smoking can damage every part of the body and can cause different types of cancer including that of the head, neck, lung, kidney, pancreas, bladder and others.

Adoga added that smokers are also liable to develop chronic diseases like stroke, blindness, gum infection, heart disease, pneumonia, hardening of the arteries, asthma and reduced fertility, among other health problems.

“Selling cigarettes in sticks makes it affordable and encourages under-aged users to continue to indulge in smoking. Enforcers should commence strict enforcement of the regulation.

“Research has also shown that taking a stick of cigarette amounts to eating many hazardous chemicals as smoking tobacco causes exposure to a lethal mixture,” he said.

He called on the federal government to increase tax on tobacco to reduce the health hazards and the corresponding deaths associated with cigarette smoking.

Earlier, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, The Executive Director, (ED) CISLAC, represented by Muhammad Murtala, said this alarming statistic underscores the urgent need for awareness and action on the tobacco epidemic within the nation.

The ED said Nigeria continues to sustain tobacco control efforts in the country but that there is also a need to expand the effort in all the states.

“Recognising tax and price measures should be the most cost-effective tool for tobacco control as they reduce affordability, especially among low-income earners and reduce initiation of children to smoking,” Rafsanjani Said.

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