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May 31, 2018

No to Tobacco; It’s Not Good for Your Heart

A 2014 survey has shown that twelve percent of young people between the ages of thirteen and fifteen have consumed a tobacco product and it is believed that those numbers have grown since then. The Ministry of Health, through the National Drug Abuse Control Council, has been working around the clock with awareness campaigns and interventions at schools to assist with the fight against drug abuse. Today, World No Tobacco Day was celebrated across the globe. News Five’s Duane Moody found out that this year the focus is on heart conditions associated with tobacco abuse.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Annually on May thirty-first, No Tobacco Day is celebrated across the world in an effort to continue with the awareness on the effects of drug abuse, as it relates to the consumption of tobacco products; precisely cigarettes. This year, the theme is “Tobacco Breaks Hearts; Choose Health, not Tobacco,” which brings into sharp focus the cardiovascular complications compounded by tobacco abuse.

 

Tricia Belle

Tricia Belle, Cayo District Coordinator, NDACC

“Every year, the World Health Organization embarks on highlighting the health and other risks associated with tobacco consumption and this year we have chosen to focus on the heart because cardiovascular disease paired up with tobacco use is the leading cause of stroke and death in the world.”

 

Duane Moody

“Are we see more and more people consuming tobacco and I am not only talking only about smoking. But are we seeing more persons doing that, cause we are seeing younger people taking this drug.”

 

Tricia Belle

“Well the latest survey that we did was the global youth tobacco survey that was done in 2014 and this year, if we win the bid, we will be embarking on another survey to update that information that we have. But the last survey revealed that over twelve percent of young people—ranging from thirteen to fifteen—has consumed a tobacco product. And I can guarantee that it has increased with the new E-cigarettes that are targeting young people with the various flavors and smells when it comes to vapes.”

 

A portion of Amara Avenue in Belize City was cordoned off today where the National Drug Abuse Control Council put off a health fair featuring different health associations and groups. It’s an opportunity for the public, as well as primary and secondary school students to learn more about the harmful side effects of second hand smoking and drug abuse in general.

 

Tricia Belle

“We’ve having a basic health fair, but it’s focusing mostly on the effects of tobacco. So we are focusing on second hand smoking; we are focusing on the cancers related to tobacco use; we are focusing on how tobacco affects every single part of your body because it does affect every single organ in your body. We are focusing on how to get help, how to quit.”

 

Not because something is legal, it is good for your body; hence the need for informed health choices. The mandate of the NDACC, and by extension the Ministry of Health, sees health personnel going into schools from primary to tertiary institutions for interventions. But Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero says that there is more to be done.

 

Marvin Manzanero

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“NDACC is seen as a technical area within the Ministry of Health so they do prevention measures primarily at the school level. I think we are aware that that’s not in itself enough and it’s not only going to be the Ministry of Health; you have to have other ministries involved. So what we are doing, through NDACC we have also been able to do previous surveys and that helps guide policy.”

 

One such policy is a Tobacco Bill that has been completed and is one of the top three bills the Ministry of Health will be pushing at the Cabinet level this year. The Tobacco Bill has undergone review by PAHO as well as legal experts and tobacco importers in an effort to enhance the drug abuse prevention measures currently being done in country. So what does it entail?

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“One is in terms of advertising, in terms of sale; enforcing that. Even the packaging; you know in other countries it has gone to pictorial packaging, kind of. Enforcing the smoking in public places and how it effects if I am second-hand smoker; those are the key elements around the Tobacco Bill.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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1 Response for “No to Tobacco; It’s Not Good for Your Heart”

  1. Fungus says:

    No to tobacco,,, but yess to Marijuana..go green and organic.

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