World No Tobacco Day 2018

Heart Disease and Stroke are the second and fourth highest cause of deaths recorded in Brunei Darussalam, which when combined account for 20 percent of all deaths in 2016. This was stated by Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Doctor Haji Mohammad Isham Bin Haji Jaafar, Minister of Health in conjunction with the World No Tobacco Day 2018 which is celebrated every 31st of May.

Yang Berhormat explained that this year's theme 'Tobacco and Heart Disease' focusses on the relation of tobacco use with heart disease and other cardiovascular symptoms as well as stroke. Cardiovascular disease is recorded as the main cause of death worldwide with 17 million of deaths every year. While the use of tobacco and exposure to passive cigarette smoke contributed to 12 percent of all deaths caused by heart disease.

According to Yang Berhormat, coronary heart diseases which require special treatment have been increasing from year-to-year. Statistics showed 143 patients in 2016 and 152 patients in 2017 were registered under Gleneagles JPMC. Early this year alone, an estimated 65 patients were registered until April 2018. The results the STEPS NCD 2016 research, showed 20 percent or 50 to 60 thousand people in the country aged between 18 to 69 are smokers, where 36 point 3 percent are male and 3 point 7 percent are female. Amongst the smokers, 30 percent are in the productive age group of between 18 and 44.

Exposure to passive cigarette smoke increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 20 to 30 percent which can increase the risk of heart attack and sudden death among the passive smokers. Global School Health Survey (GSHS) 2014 has found out that 40 percent teenagers aged between 13 to 17 were exposed to passive cigarette smoke and one every 3 teenagers have parents or guardians who are tobacco products users. The Ministry of Health provides a Smoking Quitting Clinic Services at specific Health Centres in every district in which give counselling services and Pharmacotherapy assistance such as nicotine replacement equipment to those who in need.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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