Tobacco Kills 4-M Annually - WHO.(Main News)

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Byline: SHIANEE MAMANGLU

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that every year, four million people die from tobacco-related diseases worldwide. By 2030, deaths will swell to 10 million, 70 percent of which will come from developing countries like the Philippines.

The country's annual healthcare costs productivity loss from disease and productivity loss from death due to coronary artery diseases and stroke reach P19 billion and P13 billion, respectively, in 1999 while tobacco-related diseases like lung cancer totaled to P10 billion and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases to P4 billion.

In observance of the 4th International Week of Resistance to Tobacco Transnationals (Sept. 30 to Oct.), the Department of Health (DoH) reiterated its firm stance against tobacco adding the dangers associated to tobacco use are physically and economically insurmountable.

"All countries must take a firmer stand against tobacco and its products to counter possible increased cases of diseases associated with tobacco," urged Health Secretary Manuel Dayrit.

Dayrit encouraged the strengthening of key areas of global treaty on tobacco control. It was learned that a draft treaty of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was recently released but which lack certain policies on cigarette trading.

"We are concerned that this document falls short of measures necessary to reverse the global tobacco epidemic, including in areas that are critical to holding tobacco transnationals accountable and curbing their ability to spread addiction, diseases and death," the health chief said. …