The Ministry of Health has partnered with the Tobacco Control Work Group to launch the World No Tobacco Day activities here. The initiative aims to sensitize the public on the detriments of tobacco use particularly the younger population. The latest Global Youth Tobacco Survey, indicates that a quarter of youth globally from ages 13 to 15 are smoking daily. That the Ministry of Health says is disturbing.
According to the Senior Medical Officer for Non- Communicable Diseases, Dr. Shanna Cyr Philbert 8 out of 10 adult persons who die in St. Lucia, die from non-communicable diseases such as lung cancer, diabetes, cardio vascular diseases, and stroke.
Figures from the World Health Organization, (WHO) indicate that approximately 1 Million persons a year die from inhaling second hand tobacco smoke.
Dr. Owen Gabriel, Oncologist at the Victoria Hospital says the number of young persons smoking tobacco suggests an epidemic is in the making.
The most effective measure to improve lung health is to reduce tobacco use and second hand smoke exposure.
World No Tobacco day is observed on May 31st by the World Health Organization and a calendar of activities is being prepared for the rest of the month focusing particularly on the youth.
The press launch took place on Tuesday at the Ministry of Health’s Conference Room.