Tobacco kills 8m people globally every year – WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health challenges the world has ever faced, killing more than eight million people globally every year.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti Regional Director for Africa said this in her message to commemorate the World No Tobacco Day which is been celebrated every May, 31.

Moeti said that the organisation joined the rest of the international community to commemorate World No Tobacco Day with theme `Grow food, not tobacco”.

She said that the theme aimed to raise awareness about alternative crop production and marketing opportunities for tobacco farmers and encourage them to grow sustainable, nutritious crops.

According to her, the theme also seeks to expose the tobacco industry’s efforts to interfere with attempts to substitute tobacco growing with sustainable crops, thereby worsening the global food crisis.

“ It calls on all of us to explore how food and agricultural policies make adequate nutritious food and healthy diets available while reducing tobacco production,’’ she said.

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