Based on non-infectious diseases statistics for 2016, a total of 50 to 60 thousand people of this country aged between 18 to 69 years old are smokers. Meanwhile, based on Global School Health Survey, GSHS statistics for 2014, about 3,800 youths aged 13 to 17 years are smokers. The matter was shared by the Minister of Health in his message in conjunction with World No Tobacco Day 2019.
According to Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Mohammad Isham Bin Haji Jaafar, the findings from both studies showed that about 50 to 60 thousand people in the country are smokers with high risk of lungs disease such as lungs cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, asthma and Tuberculosis or TB.
The main concern, said Yang Berhormat, are the effects of smoking habit can also affect the health of people around smokers who are exposed to cigarette smoke - passive smokers. According to GSHS 2014 study, about 40 percent youths of 13 to 17 years old are exposed to passive smoke. Exposure to passive smoke can increase each risk to individual having lungs cancer, TB laten infection to active TB infection and chronic respiratory diseases, lungs infection; and serious respiratory problem such as asthma. About 8 percent from all deaths in 2017 are due to chronic respiratory diseases including bronchitis and asthma.
This year's World No Tobacco Day celebration carries the theme, 'Tobacco and Lungs Health'. The theme focusses in increasing public awareness on negative impact of tobacco which can affect lung health.
Yang Berhormat continued in an effort to lessen and control the use of tobacco especially in this country, his ministry and other government agencies under Various Sectors for Health Committee have implemented various initiatives namely roadshows, exhibition and health talks; as well as including the anti-tobacco curriculum in Year 6 and 8 students' curriculum so that the set objectives can be achieved.
Source: Radio Television Brunei