Tobacco Smoking Increases In Teenagers

…Experts Call For New Technologies To Fight Tobacco Harm…

By Michael Gwarisa from Nairobi, Kenya

AFRICA is recording a massive increase in cases of child smokers with children between the ages of 13 and 15 being the biggest victims owing to peer pressure as well as the cheap pricing of cigarettes in most  African markets.

The call comes amidst indications of increased cases on Child smokers in Africa with high  cases having been recorded in West Africa, East and other some parts Southern Parts of Africa.

Ade Adeyemi

Speaking during a Tobacco Harm Reduction Media Conference in Kenya, Leadership Impact Dynamics Founder Ade Adeyemi said there was a worrying increase in cases of child smokers across Africa and there was need to adopt new technologies so as to mitigate against the effects of smoking.

Some of the Journalists from 14 African Countries Attending the Tobacco Harm Reduction Workshop

“Coming up with strategies to reduce the harm of tobacco could actually get funding from a lot of companies dealing with tobacco as it will also increase their profits and technology is one of those strategies.

“There is currently an increase in the number of adolescent smokers in Africa around ages 13 and 15 whereas women smokers are also increasing. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics, In Kenya, boys smokers are at 11.2 %, while girls are 5%, Senegal, 12% boys, girls 2.7%, Namibia, 23.6%, boys 12.% percent, Botswana, 18.1%, Zimbabwe Boys are at 4% while Girls 1%, Malawi, 6.8%,” said Adeyemi.

Tobacco is one of Africa’s leading cash crop with countries like Zimbabwe racking in millions in revenue every year from the crop.

Academic Dr Tendai Mhizha said new technologies like the E-Cigarette had proven beyond doubt that the harm as a result of smoking could be reduced and would go a long way in curbing smoking related risks. She added that companies should move away from combustible cigarettes to E-Cigarettes which which very low toxins.

Dr Tendai Mhizha

“Instead of switching tobacco smoking permanently, new technologies could reduce the harm effectively. The E-Cigarette for example could reduce the effects caused by smoking. Of course they have been criticisms that the E- Cigarettes could increase the number of smokers, there is no evidence to prove that.

“We can actually save lives by switching to E-Cigarettes, heavy regulation of Tobacco smoking could be futile, but smart technologies could be a solution,” said Dr Ndoro.

The tobacco industry remains one of the most complex ones due to strict regulation on tobacco control and the immense public criticism of the harm caused by smoking. Most players in the tobacco industry have invested heavily in research and development in order to propose products that could be less harmful and more in line with the the new era.

In September 2015, the international community through the United Nations (UN) adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). The SDGs are a set of of 17 ambitious and specific goals to be reached.

The achievement of the SDGs calls for increased and sustained public-private partnerships to eradicate poverty, eliminate hunger, provide good health and well being to all, ensure quality education, and achieve gender equality among others.

The World Health Organisation estimates that there will be over a billion smokers by 2025 hence the need to choose alternative cigarettes. According to the United Nations statistics, 212,, around 38 million deaths a year, accounting for 68% of all deaths worldwide, are attributed to Non Communicable Diseases.

 

 

 

 

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