Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tobacco: Cameroon’s silent killer disease

Tobacco Kills 66,000 Cameroonians Yearly
It has been revealed that 66,000 Cameroonians die yearly from Tobacco related diseases. This number is twice more than the number who die from HIV/ AIDS in the country.
The revelation was made by health officials on Friday May 31, 2013 in Yaounde as Cameroon joined the world in commemorating the 2013 edition of World No Tobacco Day.
Tobacco consumption and production is on a steady increase in Cameroon.
The country produces 5,000 tons of tobacco each year. A total of 28.8 percent of Cameroonians are said to consume tobacco.
Mr Andre Mama Fouda, Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health regretted that 60% of smokers in Cameroon are less than 20years old.
According to Dr Charlotte Fatty Ndiaye, Resident Representative of the World Health Organisation in Cameroon, one cigarette less is equal to eleven minutes of additional life.
With the shocking statistics, the officials said tobacco is the only poison that is sold in public worldwide.
Consequently, both officials called on campaigners for the fight against tobacco consumption and the media to discourage advertising and encourage the law banning smoking in public places.
According to anti tobacco campaigner, Dr Flore Ndembiyembe, president of the Cameroon Coalition against Tobacco (C3T), the situation is disheartening in Cameroon and synergy between the media, civil society and government is indispensable.
The 2013 edition of World No Tobacco Day was commemorated in Cameroon under the theme “ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship”.

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