The Regional Director for World Health Organisation (WHO) in African, Dr Matshidiso Moeti has said that tobacco epidermic kills more than eight million people globally every year.
While giving a speech to commemorate the ‘World No Tobacco Day’, celebrated every May 31, Moeti said that africa is experiencing an increase in the number of adult smokers from an estimated 64 million in 2000 to 73 million in 2018.
“The tobacco industry’s strong marketing campaigns and increased tobacco product production are also contributing factors to this.” she said
Moeti appealed to tobacco-growing countries in the Africa Region to step up the implementation of Articles 17 and 18 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
According to her, such can be done by enacting legislation, developing, and implementing suitable policies and strategies, and enabling market conditions for tobacco farmers to shift to growing food crops.
“With such action, we will be growing food, which our populations need, not tobacco. The day provides us the opportunity to highlight the dangers associated with tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke,” the WHO official added.