New Telegraph

FG: Tobacco Costs Nigeria’s Healthcare System N634bn

The Federal Government has raised the alarm that tobacco is one of the biggest public health threats confronting the country’s economy currently, saying the burden of tobacco on Nigeria’s healthcare system was N634 billion, of which, N526.6 billion are tobacco -attributable treatment costs. The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, made this known at the launch of tobacco control advocacy campaign, tagged: “Don’t Burn the Future,” organised the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in Lagos recently.

Pate, who was represented by Dr. Malau Toma, Chairman, Tobacco Units, Ministry of Health, explained that data from the World Health Organisation indicated that tobacco accounted for more than eight million deaths annually around the world, with more than seven million of those deaths resulting from direct tobacco use while about 1.2 million as a result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. In addition, he added that tobacco was also one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension, heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases. “Data from WHO also show that there are about 1.3 billion tobacco users around the world, with over 80 per cent of these users living in low- and middle- income countries. Unfortunately, half of these tobacco users will die from tobacco-related diseases.

“The last National Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) carried out in 2012, showed that 5.4 per cent (4.5 million Nigerians) aged 15 years and above currently used tobacco and tobacco products. The GATS also showed that 29.3 per cent of Nigerians were exposed to second-hand smoke when visiting restaurants,” Pate said. In his keynote address at the occasion, the Acting Executive Vice Chair- man, Dr. Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi, stated that this was a remarkable and resolute effort by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to tackle the escalating issue of young and underaged access to tobacco products and its detrimental impact on the society. He added that it was a campaign to guarantee the health of our youths and secure the future. The FCCPC boss explained: “Today, in our books, marks a pivotal moment in our commitment to safeguarding the future of our youth and preserving the economic vitality of our nation through promoting their health and wellbeing.

Sound health encompasses a comprehensive state of well-being, including physical, mental, and social dimensions. “It enables people to lead fulfilling lives, pursue their goals, and contribute actively to society. Sound health is not only a personal achievement but also a societal asset, as healthier populations contribute to economic productivity and social cohesion. It is a fundamental goal for individuals and the community. “Sound health is a dynamic and ongoing process that requires individual commitment, community support, and a healthcare system that prioritizes prevention and timely intervention. “This is precisely why today is such an auspicious occasion.”

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