Ban All Forms of Tobacco

Smoking: Ban All Forms of Tobacco

The WHO World Health Organisation estimates more than five million people will die from tobacco-related diseases this year.

I REFER to reports calling for a ban on shisha smoking and wonder if we are missing the bigger picture.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death. According to the World Health Organisation, more than five million people will die from tobacco-related heart attacks, strokes, cancer, lung ailments or other diseases this year. That does not include the more than 600,000 people — more than a quarter of them children — who will die from exposure to second-hand smoke.

The annual death toll from the global epidemic of tobacco use could rise to eight million by 2030. Having killed 100 million people in the 20th century, tobacco use could kill one billion in the 21st century.

A recent study by Sirirassamee T, et al., (Southeast Asia J Trop Med Public Health, 2011) found that about five per cent of Malaysian adolescents were smokers and an additional 8.6 per cent were beginner smokers.

Alarmingly, 68.3 per cent reported that they bought the cigarettes themselves, especially from convenience stores (44.6 per cent) and street vendors (16.8 per cent). It is obvious that anyone here can sell cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors with little or no enforcement of the law.

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