Okon Bassey in Uyo
The federal government has been urged to fully implement the National Tobacco Control Act (2015) restricting smoking in public places and people from taking to tobacco as eight million people are presently at risk.
The Chief Medical Director of University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH), Professor Etete Peters, made the call wednesday while addressing journalists in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on the â€˜World No Tobacco Day.â€™
He said what is worrisome and alarming is the growing number of young men taking to cigarette smoking, stressing that implementation of strong policies to dissuade people from starting and encouraging smokers to quit is urgently needed to save young men in the country.
â€œWhether as direct, secondary smoke or as farmers, eight million people are estimated to be at risk of losing their lives due to smoking, especially in Nigeria,â€ Peters, who is also the President of Nigerian Thoracic Society said.
According to him, smoking is reason behind the increasing cases of cancer, diabetes, stroke and other non-communicable diseases people are suffering in the country.
He stressed: â€œCigarette smoking causes cancer of the airways, harms children, causes stroke and causes impotence so it must be avoided.
â€œWe need strong policies to dissuade mostly our youths from starting to smoke while encouraging old smokers to quit. Moreover, it may be the major cause of mortality, premature death and disability,â€ he added.
He strongly demanded for the introduction of graphic health warnings, especially with imagery depicting cancer and other terrible disease on cigarette packs to influence non-smokers to remain abstinent.