Ogun Govt. expresses concern over underage smoking

Ogun Government on Monday expressed concern over increased rate of smoking by underage, especially secondary school students.The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, expressed the government’s concern at a news conference in Abeokuta.The conference was to kickstart a campaign against smoking to mark the 2021 World No Tobacco Day.

Our correspondent reports that World No Tobacco Day is marked annually on May 31 to raise awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco smoking,

The 2021 edition had the theme: ”Commit to Quit”.

The commissioner  said that Ogun Ministry of Health, through the state’s Drug Control Committee, had been engaging secondary school students across the state to discourage them from smoking and using illicit drugs.According to her, establishment of Drug-Free Clubs in public and private secondary schools in the state was part of the efforts of the state government to curb smoking and drug abuse among students.She noted that 16,800 Nigerians died of tobacco-related illness annually, saying that cigarette smoke contained more than 7,000 harmful chemicals, 70 of which could cause cancer.The commissioner added that smoking of tobacco, especially cigarette,  caused  cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive lung diseases and lung cancer.“Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the world. It kills more people than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.“On the average, the life expectancy of a smoker is 10 years less than a non-smoker.“Nearly six million people die each year from tobacco-related diseases, and the number is expected to rise to eight million by 2030.“Every time a smoker lights up a cigarette or use any form of tobacco, the toxic gas pass into the lungs, the chemicals in the tobacco go into the bloodstream to every organ in the body.“The major culprits in tobacco are tar, carbon-monoxide and nicotine. Tar is a cancer-causing chemical that sticks to the lungs.“Carbon-monoxide displaces oxygen in the blood, denying the organs of oxygen, while nicotine is an addictive substance leading to withdrawal syndromes and more cravings,” Coker explained.


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