How smoking caused 29,472 deaths in Nigeria – Research

Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

Research findings published in 2021 by the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa showed that 29,472 deaths in Nigeria were ascribable to smoking.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire on Monday in Abuja while quoting the 2018 Tobacco Atlas report, during the commemoration of World No Tobacco Day.

He said the theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day, “Commit to Quit” came at a good time when the global community was battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is especially so, as evidence has shown that tobacco users and those with underlying Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes. Assisting people to quit tobacco use will therefore improve COVID-19 treatment outcomes,” he said.

He went further to say that Nigeria records over 16, 100 deaths from tobacco-related diseases every year, stressing that “The death toll from tobacco is high in Nigeria.”

He said tobacco use or exposure to second-hand smoke is the leading preventable risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like hypertension, stroke, cancers, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said  Nigeria was selected as one of the 22 countries for support by WHO (HQ/AFRO) to scale up programmes to help people quit tobacco, especially at the primary health care and community levels.

Moeti called on the minister to identify a space within the ministry to set up a call centre office from which the counsellors will respond to caller needs.


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