By Jumah Nsubuga
Deaths resulting from the rampant smoking are likely to increase especially in those countries where there are no laws that regularize tobacco smoking, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the mover of the Uganda Tobacco control bill 2014, have warned.
Baryomunsi revealed this during a media dialogue organized by center for Tobacco control in Africa on Tobacco control held in Kampala today.
He says that, Tobacco kills more than 6 million people worldwide annually adding that the number is likely to increase to 8 million people by 2020 if there is no action by governments on the use of Tobacco.
He says that in Uganda nearly 13500 people die annually due to Tobacco related diseases saying that Tobacco kills more people compared to other diseases like HIV/AIDS.
“Tobacco is a significant risk factor for several diseases and a major contributor to global mortality. He says that the World Health Organization estimates that smoking causes about 71% of lung cancer, 42% of chronic respiratory disease and nearly 10% of cardiovascular diseases. Adding that, the highest incidence of smoking among men is in lower-middle income segments of society”.
Over 4000 chemical compounds are created burning a cigarette. “At least 250 of these are known to be harmful and 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer”. He added
The Tobacco control bill which intends to protect the present and future generations from the devastating health, social, economic and environmental consequences of Tobacco use and exposure in Uganda was tabled before parliament for the first reading recently and was referred by the speaker of parliament to the health committee for scrutiny.
The burden of Tobacco Use
Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death among adults. No consumer product kills as many people and as needlessly as does Tobacco. The Tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people worldwide annually of whom more 5 million are users and ex users however 600000 are none smokers exposed to second hand smoke with women and children excessively affected. However 13000 people die daily from Tobacco related illness and diseases accounting for one death every 6seconds.