Categorized | National News

Ministry of Health launches Anti-Tobacco Initiative

In honor of World No Tobacco Day, the Ministry of Health has  launched an initiative to combat smoking and raise awareness of its side effects. 

This year’s goal focuses on drawing attention to health risks associated with the use of tobacco under the theme, “Tobacco and Heart Disease, aiming to expose the link between tobacco use and cardiovascular disease. 

Heart disease and strokes are the world’s leading cause of death, according to Minister if health Dr. Duane Sands. 

He said that medical science has shown that smoking heightens one’s chances of heart disease because of raising triglycerides, lowering the good or HDL cholesterol, making blood more sticky and likely to clot blocking blood flow to the brain, damaging blood vessels by increasing the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, and increasing blood pressure by causing thickening and narrowing of the blood vessel. 

He added, “To out it plainly, my fellow Bahamians, smoking kills!” 

Dr. Sands also listed statistics from the findings of the 2017 National household Drugs Survey which revealed that 25 per cent of Bahamians between the ages of 12 and 65 admitted to smoking at least once. 

It also revealed that males smoke at about four times a higher rate than females. 

One of the initiative’s arrangements includes a revised Tobacco Bill which Dr. Sands said will address the situation in The Bahamas comprehensively. 

He said, “Such a bill will enable us to monitor tobacco use within The Bahamas, it will better facilitate prevention policies, it will protect the Bahamian people from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke by creating and increasing completely smoke-free indoor public spaces and workplaces, it will strengthen partnerships for smoking cessation programs and other interventions…”

He added, “It will implement effective anti-tobacco media campaigns that inform the public, especially our more vulnerable youth, about the harms of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and create a mechanism for the enforcement and levying of fines and penalties for infractions.” 

Dr. Sands also urged Bahamians to reduce their cholesterol, reduce and control their blood pressure, get support, and above all; stop smoking.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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