WHO condemns shisha, says 146m Africans die yearly from tobacco-related diseases


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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the use of tobacco products other than cigarettes, such as vaporisers like shisha, was on the increase in Africa.

This is just as the world health body revealed that no fewer than 146 million Africans die annually from tobacco-related diseases.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said these on Thursday during a virtual press conference.

Moeti said tobacco was the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world and emphasised that “smoking damages nearly every organ in the body”.

The director also said that “globally, exposure to secondhand smoke kills more than 1.2 million people yearly.”

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Moeti said that quitting tobacco was the way to reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases, noting that it would also  increase one’s life expectancy.

She added that “quitting tobacco is hard but today is a good day to start.

“Make the decision to live a life controlled by you and not tobacco.

“It may seem impossible, or like smoking isn’t a big deal. But what you don’t do today may end up causing future health problems or, worse, premature death,” Moeti said.

She said that one in five adolescents in Africa now used tobacco, saying “this must change. Quit smoking and be a part of the solution.”

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