One in five adolescents in Africa now uses tobacco, said WHO. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)
One in five adolescents in Africa now uses tobacco, said WHO. Photo: African News Agency (ANA)

146 000 Africans die of tobacco-related diseases annually - WHO

By Chad Williams Time of article published Jan 7, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. It kills 8 million people each year, while across Africa, 146 000 people die from related diseases annually, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The South East Asia Tobacco Control Alliance says the prevalence rate of tobacco smoking in Africa is relatively low at 14% compared with 23% in the Americas and 31% in the Eastern Mediterranean, but its growth rate is the highest in the world.

The use of tobacco products other than cigarettes, such as vaporisers, is also increasing in Africa.

Mozambique has seen a 220% growth in cigarette consumption over the past 16 years, according to a Lancet survey.

One in five adolescents in Africa now uses tobacco, WHO said on Thursday.

More than 1.2 million people globally die every year from exposure to second-hand smoke, the global health agency said, adding that quitting smoking was the safest way to reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases while also increasing life expectancy.

Studies show that smokers who can quit tobacco for 28 days, are likely to stop smoking for good.

Last year, WHO’s fourth global tobacco trends report showed that there were 1.3 billion tobacco users globally compared with 1.32 billion in 2015, although this was expected to dip to 1.27 billion by 2025.

In 2020, 22.3 percent of the global population used tobacco, including 36.7 percent of all men and 7.8 percent of women.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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