June 20, 2021

1.2 million non-smokers die from tobacco smoke exposure annually

Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, says no fewer than 1.2 million people die annually due to exposure to tobacco smoke.

Ms Moeti said this in her message to mark 2021 World No Tobacco Day with the theme, ‘Commit to quit.’

May 31 of every year is World No Tobacco Day.

She said, “Tobacco use can lead to lung, mouth, throat, oesophagus, stomach, bowel, and other cancers. It increases the risk of chest and lung infections, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions.

“There is no safe form of tobacco. The theme this year is because the choice to stop tobacco use is in our hands. Millions of people have been motivated to quit tobacco during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to her, this is because of evidence showing tobacco smoking impairs lung function, making it harder for the body to fight off coronavirus and other diseases.

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