Tunisia has worked for years to enact new laws and launch warning campaigns about the dangers of smoking, in a bid to tackle high rates of smoking that have risen among teenagers and young men, men and women, and have become one of the most important factors that cause cases of serious diseases such as cancer, shortness of breath and others.
Hatem Bouziane, head of the Tunisian Anti-Tobacco Alliance, an organization created in May 2022 and bringing together more than 10 medical, scientific, civil and private organizations working for the fight against smoking, revealed that the alarming figures linked to the number of smokers in Tunisia require great efforts to reduce deaths from hemorrhage directly caused by smoking.
• Bouziane told Sky News Arabia: “The number of tobacco users and its dangerous health repercussions is terrifying and terrifying, because half of Tunisian men smoke tobacco, and this percentage rises to 65% in the age bracket. age between 25 and 65, and these indicators place Tunisia in the rank of first Arab.
• According to Bouziane, the indicators of smoking among Tunisian women are inaccurate, given that the studies carried out by research departments or anti-tobacco associations are sometimes carried out in the presence of the family, and that many women hide their consumption tobacco for reasons related to customs and traditions, but the number of women who smoke cigarettes in Tunisia is high.
• Smoking causes the death of more than 13,000 Tunisians per year, at the rate of 30 to 40 deaths per day, including more than 2,600 people who died from passive smoking or living with a smoker at home, in the office or elsewhere. .
• Bouziane confirmed that his association completed the statistics in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and with the support of the World Health Organization at the end of 2022, and concluded that Tunisia is the first with Jordan and Lebanon for the percentage of smokers, but Tunisia is the first first in mortality rates due to smoking.
• The leader of the Tunisian Anti-Tobacco Coalition reveals that the economic repercussions of the phenomenon of tobacco consumption are very serious, since Tunisia loses 2% of the gross national product due to the high percentage of smokers, due to the high number of days of absence from work and the importation of special drugs for the treatment of diseases caused by tobacco.
• 50% of smokers die before the age of 65 because of smoking, which is the main cause of lung cancer, since 90% of this type of tumor is caused by smoking.
• Bouziane adds: “We know that smoking is a form of addiction, and any phenomenon of addiction requires great effort and encounters greater difficulties to cope with it and get out of it. We are working under the auspices of the World Health Organization and in cooperation with dozens of scientific and other societies to reduce the number of smokers in Tunisia, but there are other parties that we must face, which are the manufacturers of tobacco with commercial objectives and profit objectives.
Organizations active in the fight against the high rate of smoking are betting first on raising awareness, then on dissuasion, by enacting laws that oblige public and private spaces to commit to the fight against this phenomenon by allocating isolated places to smokers or eliminating the use of tobacco there. .
In 2022, according to the leader of the Tunisian coalition, Tunisia has made great progress in its war against high rates of smoking, because cigarette packs must carry an image of lung cancer or bladder cancer, with sentences indicating in particular that smoking is fatal.
Many associations for the defense of children’s rights have engaged in anti-smoking campaigns, launching campaigns to prevent the spread of cigarette kiosks and shops near schools, institutes and educational establishments, with the aim of reducing children and adolescents falling into the danger of cigarette smoking.
Free addiction treatment clinics
In the same context, Tunisia created private clinics or in hospitals years ago to treat cigarette addiction, where specialized doctors monitor the reception of smokers and subject them to treatment sessions in the goal of quitting smoking, and this experience was remarkably successful, according to Bouziane. .
On the other hand, Donia Gharbi Kilani, doctor in charge of the smoking cessation unit at the regional directorate of public health in the capital, Tunis, who has specialized in the care of smokers for more than 20 years, affirms that “the The risks facing smokers are more than can be described, as the phenomenon has turned into It’s like a pandemic, which requires ringing the alarm bells, especially for the age group between 12 and 18 year olds, that is, teenagers and children who still feel the first puffs of cigarettes, unaware of the danger it poses to their health.
And she added to ‘Sky News Arabia’: “Through my experience in a public hospital in Tunisia, there is a recognition that smoking is a deadly danger and that the family is the first cornerstone on which the basis to protect childhood to fall into the epicenter of cigarette abuse must be constructed.”
The spokesperson said: “Tunisia has all the capabilities to succeed in its war against the high rate of smokers and the health, economic and environmental damage it causes, but this requires a strong family will to protect young people. , and continuous measures by specialized structures. »
Read the Latest World News Today on The Eastern Herald.
Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.
For the latest updates and news follow The Eastern Herald on Google News, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Help us continue our mission to deliver the latest news and stories by becoming a supporter of our newspaper. Your support will help us to continue to provide high-quality journalism and to ensure that our content remains free and accessible to all. Click here to show your support. Thank you!