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Tanzania: No safe level of tobacco use – experts

Dar es Salaam – When it comes to determining whether tobacco use leads to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), well-known anti-tobacco activist Lutgard Kagaruki remains categorical: "Even a single stick can kill or leave a sick one, "she says.

"You might smoke a pack, but you'll die earlier than the one who smoked four or five packs … it all depends on a person's immunity, but overall there is no safe level," says Kagaruki, who has been around for years explored the effects of tobacco use in Tanzania.

Most experts interviewed by The Citizen argue that the problem is not so big cigarettes that a smoker can consume per day.

Social smokers or passive smokers are at the same risk as a chain smoker because they all inhale the same kind of smoke and this has already been proven by researchers to be deadly.

There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are carcinogenic

About 1

4.1 percent of all Tanzanians smoke tobacco daily, while the product continues to smoke Role plays risk factor for the NCDs, show government statistics.

In 2010 a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that cigarette smoking was associated with increased risk of cancer of the esophagus in white men and women.

Smoking cessation was associated with reduced risks, "the study says: cigarette smoking and adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction.

Ms. Kagaruki insists that it's better for any smoker to stop now – when there's time – to rid itself of the dire consequences of consuming tobacco products.

She speaks at a time when WHO, doctors in Tanzania and around the world, are discouraging all forms and all kinds of cigarette smoke cigarettes contained in cigarettes as a risk factor for "almost all NCDs"

"The common question we ask about patients suffering from cancer, heart disease or chronic respiratory disease is whether they have a medical history or smoke cigarettes" says Dr. Obadia Nyongole, a surgeon at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH).

"When they smoke, it gives us an indication of what they're doing Awaits t. It often turns out that they smoke, tobacco is a risk factor that needs to be controlled, "he says.

Campaigns against tobacco use in Tanzania, however, still have to bear fruit in the absence of a well-established legal framework, said Ms. Kagaruki. Head of the Tanzania Tobacco Control Forum (TTCF).

In 2007, Tanzania member WHO signed a WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC), the world's most important tobacco control instrument containing legally binding obligations for its parties [19659016] WHO-FCTC should lay the groundwork for reducing the demand for and supply of tobacco products and provide a comprehensive guide to tobacco control policies at all levels.

In countries that have adopted effective strategies for selected articles WHO implemented a package of measures under the WHO FCTC m acronym MPOWER.

The WHO recently reported on the progress of the Member States against the MPOWER measures in the WHO Global Tobacco Pandemic Report 2013.

However, Tanzania has not yet enacted a law to harmonize with the FTCT.

The law prohibits the use of tobacco in public places and there are so many gaps in existing regulations, says Ms. Kagaruki.

Although experts constantly warn that tobacco use causes more harm than good, the government and some growers are relying on the harvest in the country

Smoking cigarettes has continued to flourish in the country, which is fueled by the growing tobacco industry , say activists.

Just recently, the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children said it held talks with the Prime Minister's office to see if the country could find a common position on dealing with the conflict of interest.

Exclusively to the citizen's sister newspaper, Mwananchi, The Minister of Health, Ms. Ummy Mwalimu, said that there are efforts to find ways to restrict tobacco-growing and its subsequent consumption in order to protect human health.

"Two weeks ago (now about three), a meeting was convened by the Prime Minister's office and it was agreed that it was time to agree on how we, as a country and as a government, could control tobacco use, "But as the Ministry of Health, we said that since there is no law and the existing one is outdated, we will not ban or support tobacco farming."

"We will educate the members about the effects of tobacco use. That is the main task we will do. The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to grow tobacco while we educate people, "she said during the interview.

Weaknesses of the Law

" The challenge we face is free-range farming. This has not been addressed since the law requires that people in these open spaces do not smoke and there is ambiguity about who should enforce the law, whether it is a police officer or a health officer

"The law was confused and therefore before I became Minister of Health has made efforts to amend the law on tobacco control and a new one has been introduced, "she said.

"However, we must agree that the nature of the new If, for example, tobacco farmers in Urambo, Tabora Rural, say they do not cultivate the crop that contributes to their income, I do not think so They will understand. "

" What we need now is to discuss the matter within the government, while tobacco stakeholders must bring in alternative crops to increase their income. "The alternative cash crops will be their income and even their future lives do not interfere, "said the minister.

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