On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, celebrated on May 31 of each year, the Moroccan Ministry of Health is kicking off the national awareness campaign on the harmful effects of smoking, entitled “Commit to stop to smoke during Covid-19 ”, in total synergy with the broad global campaign launched by the World Health Organization since December 8, 2020.
In Morocco, the Ministry of Health is launching, from May 31 to June 30, 2021, this national campaign, with the aim of raising awareness among the population on the dangers of smoking and the benefits of smoking cessation, in particular during the Covid pandemic. 19.
“In this context also, the Department of Health is making all of its healthcare and administrative structures into tobacco-free spaces, with a view to strengthening the fight against this scourge”, we learn from the ministry, which notes that stopping smoking is very beneficial for health even after the appearance of pathologies linked to it. This benefit is all the greater the earlier the stop.
And to clarify: “Smoking is a real public health problem, it is the main cause of death and preventable diseases. The prevalence of smoking in Morocco is 13.4% among adults over the age of 18, including 26.9% of men and 0.4% of women [STEPS 2018], the prevalence of smoking among students aged 13 to 15 is 6% [GYTS 2016] and about 35.6% of the population is exposed to passive smoking in public and professional places ”.
What about the number of Moroccans killed by tobacco?
If we know that in the world, tobacco consumption kills about 8 million people per year, including about 1.2 million individuals exposed to passive smoking and that in North Africa and in particular in Tunisia, it kills more than 10,000 people per year, however, the number of deaths from smoking in the Kingdom of Morocco is unknown.
Indeed, what is known and recognized by all is that Morocco is one of the largest tobacco consuming countries in the entire Mediterranean basin.
This being the case and to come back to the case of Tunisia, it is clear that for this year, it has chosen the slogan “smoking cessation gives you a new chance to live” for this World No Tobacco Day, celebrated on May 31, with aim to convince as many people as possible to quit smoking in order to reduce the risk of a heart attack or brain damage, knowing that tobacco is one of the main causes of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes responsible for 80% of deaths in Tunisia.
Also knowing that the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed millions of tobacco users to want to quit, without however succeeding especially with the additional social and economic stress caused by the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a year-long global ‘Commit to Quit’ campaign through various digital initiatives and solutions to support the 100 million people around the world who are trying to kick this bad habit.
Another option, another hope of smoking cessation
In addition, and in the wake of smoking cessation, there are alternative solutions, such as electronic cigarettes.
Indeed, public health experts and tobacco industry professionals, gathered for a conference on tobacco harm reduction (In Focus: Tobacco Harm Reduction) recently looked at the findings. and scientific research relating to the use of tobacco harm reduction products, in particular electronic cigarettes.
Organized by the World Forum on Tobacco and Nicotine (GTNF), this virtual conference, which was in its 11th year, highlighted the new alternatives proposed by manufacturers to help consumers of traditional tobacco derivatives to operate a transition to other innovative and healthier products such as vaping products, heated tobacco products, modern oral products (MOPs) and other traditional smoke-free products.
This meeting also allowed us to focus on the positive contribution of science in terms of the provision of neutral and verifiable data to help consumers make an informed decision and encourage the tobacco industry to turn to solutions. innovative solutions that can lead to permanent change.
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