Tobacco kills 7,000 Zambians

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SANFROSSA MANYINDA writes

A SURVEY has revealed that 7,142 Zambians have died because of taking different forms of tobacco in one way or the other.

It has also revealed that about 7.8 percent of women in Zambia were now using other forms of tobacco products especially snuff.

National Tobacco Control Focal Point Person of the Ministry of Health, John Mayeya said that the rising trend in tobacco consumption and tobacco related deaths at global, regional and country level necessitated the World Health Organization (WHO) members and the UN family to develop a tobacco control programme.

Mr. Mayeya was speaking during the symposium on progress made towards domestication the FCTC that was sponsored by Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) in Lusaka on Friday.

“We are not aspiring to stop tobacco growing or trade. Our main objective is to protect public health and the future generation,” he said.

He further said that tobacco control required an institutional multi-sectoral approach and that farmers ought to be assisted with loans to enable them farm in other products.

Meanwhile, Centre for Advocacy and Research on Tobacco Control in Zambia (CARTOCOZA) Lead Researcher Chris Zimba said that 80 percent of people dying of tobacco products come from middle income countries like Zambia.

Mr. Zimba said that tobacco has been labeled as an epidemic at global level to the extent that it needed the attention of each and every country.

He said that tobacco led deaths deprive global development as well as income at family level as it mostly kill income owners.

And CTPD Executive Director Isaac Mwaipopo commended and thanked concerted efforts of all institutions and individuals that were working tirelessly to ensure that tobacco is controlled.

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