Tobacco use a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases in Jamaica

Cigarette smoking causes ten deaths per minute

According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year.

In addition, the carbon monoxide from cigarettes carries anywhere between 4,000 and 7,000 chemical compounds, more than 60 of them carcinogenic. In 2017, there were 12.2 million smokers.

Indonesia has the highest proportion of smokers at 76 percent of men aged over 15.

A country-by-country analysis warns that "the smoking epidemic is being exported from the rich world to low-income and middle-income countries".

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day Thursday, the United Nations health agency hailed that smoking had declined significantly since year 2000, but warned that there were still far too many people indulging in the risky habit.

"Many persons think that if you practise healthy lifestyles such as high levels of physical activity and healthy diet and smoke tobacco products, you won't be at risk for heart attack and stroke - this is not so".

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These include poorer parts of the world, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa.

While cigarette sales are expanding to new markets, industry market shares are consolidating, and the market is increasingly controlled by a few global companies.

Flaky pastries, fine wine and fashionable people smoking lots of cigarettes: Fair or not, this has been a cultural image of France for decades.

Just one in six adults now regularly light up cigarettes - with 680,000 having given up the habit completely in 2016.

"Governments have the power in their hands to protect their citizens from suffering needlessly from heart disease", said Douglas Bettcher, who heads WHO's non-communicable disease prevention unit.

Tobacco use has been linked to more than seven million deaths worldwide each year, including some 890,000 from breathing in second-hand smoke.

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Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor, Surgical Oncology, from Tata Memorial Hospital, said, "Tobacco is the singlemost known and preventable cause of cardiovascular death and disability in the world".

Bidis, which are a type of low-priced and hand-rolled cigarettes that are locally made in India, account for a significant proportion of tobacco use in India.

Petitpas Taylor says $80.5 million set aside in the last federal budget will be added to the existing investment, bringing the total to about $330 million over five years. But the world's population is growing, masking the true picture.

Cigarette sales are worth more than $680 billion annually, according to Euromonitor.

China is the leading producer of tobacco, growing about 40 percent of world's leaves, says The Tobacco Atlas. The top six made a profit of more than $62 billion in 2015, it says. The researchers found that when gum tissue is exposed to the vapors from e-cigarettes, the cells released inflammatory proteins which aggravated stress within cells, potentially causing damage which can lead to various oral diseases.

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