Tobacco kills 30,000 Nigerians every year

Tobacco kills 30,000 Nigerians every year

Tobacco diseases kill an estimated 30,000 Nigerians yearly despite government initiatives and the Tobacco Monitoring Dashboard collecting data on tobacco control and disease prevalence to help curtail its use.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Walter Molumbo expressed concern that non-communicable diseases are overtaking communicable diseases in the number of deaths they cause in Nigeria.

“Close to 30,000 lives are lost yearly due to tobacco related illnesses. This is far more than the 3,000 lives claimed by COVID19 in the three years of the pandemic,” he disclosed.

He warned that tobacco is a silent killer which manifests through cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and other ailments.

Molumbo said the theme of World No Tobacco Day 2022 with the theme, “Tobacco:A threat to our environment,” is an opportunity for Nigeria to right  the wrongs of the past when it failed to take measures to check tobacco consumption.

He, however, commended the federal government for the current efforts to curb the negative impact of tobacco on citizens, citing the creation of an emergency inter-ministerial committee to fast track action on advocacy and sensitisation.

The next meeting of the United Nations in September may be an opportunity for Nigeria to add its voice to the global efforts to end tobacco consumption, Molumbo counselled.

Country Lead Development Gateway: An IREX Venture, Seember Ali, said the Tobacco Monitoring Dashboard is being funded by the WHO and Bill Gates Foundation to fill data gaps in damages caused by tobacco consumption in Nigeria.

She explained that the focus is on a one-stop shop for gathering data that will boost anti-tobacco campaign.

Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) Executive Director Akinbode Oluwafemi said one important element of the Tobacco Monitoring Dashboard is that it enables advocates to effectively engage stakeholders on a drastic reduction in the health hazards of tobacco.

Source: The Niche