As the world observes World Lung Day, tobacco still remains to be the single most threat to lung health. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), tobacco use can result in a wide range of deadly lung conditions.
As we observe this day, we are calling on various tobacco control actors and non-actors within the Kenyan government to prioritize the fight against tobacco to help reduce these preventable risks to lung health.
We join the rest of the world in promoting better lung health globally because respiratory diseases impose immense worldwide health burden.
“Every year, tobacco kills at least 8 million people. Millions more live with lung cancer, tuberculosis, asthma or chronic lung disease caused by tobacco,”said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Healthy lungs are essential to living a healthy life. Today – and every day – you can protect your lungs and those of your friends and family by saying no to tobacco.”
In 2017, tobacco killed 3.3 million users and people exposed to second-hand smoke from lung-related conditions, including:
- 1.5 million people dying from chronic respiratory diseases
- 1.2 million deaths from cancer (trachea, bronchus and lung)
- 600 000 deaths from respiratory infections and tuberculosis
- More than 60 000 children aged under 5 die of lower respiratory infections caused by second-hand smoke. Those who live on into adulthood are more likely to develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) later in life.