Kathmandu- Adolescents from the 15-19 age group makes up the largest section among the users of tobacco products in Nepal, a study shows.
According to information made available by the Ministry of Health and Population, 30 percent people, out of the total population of the country are tobacco users.
Male and female make up fifty percent each. Some 25,000 people faced untimely deaths in Nepal every year due to the consumption of tobacco products and the figure is on the rise every year.
The Ministry shared this information at a press meet organised on the occasion of 'World No Tobacco Day' today. According to medical researches, smoking (cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and bidi, locally made cigars), intake of Gutkha, and inhaling hookah cause numeral health challenges in lungs. Tobacco intake increases the risk of chronic objective pulmonary, asthma and tobacco.
The World Health Organisation states that several types of harmful chemicals are present in tobacco smoke including at least 70 cancer-causing chemicals. Children and pregnant women are at high risk of health issues from passive smoking. Government in Nepal has banned smoking in public places but due to lack of stringent compliance, no significant progress has been achieved in this regard.
DPM Yadav highlights need of public awareness against tobacco use At the programme, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health and Population Upendra Yadav underscored the need to raise awareness of the adverse effects of tobacco use instead of seeking to ban its consumption through legal measures. DPM Yadav said,” Government has been raising higher taxes on tobacco items every year and implementing the laws to control its usage too.
The survey shows that the number of tobacco users has not been on the decline despite measures to control it. Thus, raising awareness about it is the most effective medium.” Yadav however pledged that his Ministry would accord highest priority for the effective implementation of the rules, regulations and Acts to curb tobacco.
Similarly, State-Ministry of the Ministry of Health and Population Dr Surendra Kumar Yadav shared that rising cases of non-communicable diseases related to kidney, cardiovascular and from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases were attributed to tobacco use. He echoed with DPM Yadav and pressed for launching awareness drive among the people about the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
The World No-Tobacco Day is celebrated on every May 31 by the World Health Organisation and global partners. The slogan for this year World No-Tobacco Day is ‘Choose health over tobacco’.
Likewise, Gandaki Province Minister for Social Development Nardevi Pun informed that awareness drive on the negative impacts of tobacco use was already put in place in the Gandaki province. Former Minister for Health and parliamentarian Khagaraj Adhikari underlined the formulation of regulations to regulate the use of tobacco, and for this he called upon the parliamentarians to utilise the Parliamentarian Development Fund.
On the occasion, Bloomberg Public Health Award was awarded to Minister Pun, parliamentarian Adhikari, Joint-Secretary Ram Krishna Subedi and Health Journalist Forum. The award carries a purse of Rs 50,000.