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Obaseki urges intensified behavioural change campaigns to check tobacco consumption

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged for increased enlightenment campaigns to change the behaviour of consumers of tobacco, which exposes them to the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

He said this in commemoration of the World No Tobacco Day marked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other organs of the United Nations to raise awareness and check the consumption of tobacco.

The governor urged “Stakeholders to develop effective behavioural change communication campaigns to sensitize consumers on the need to adopt new habits against the consumption of tobacco which exposes them to cardiovascular diseases.”

He said that this year’s theme for the commemoration, "Tobacco: Threat to our environment” calls for urgent measures to drive enlightenment campaigns on how tobacco consumption harms the environment, as sustained production of cigarettes leads to the cutting down of trees, leading to rising temperatures across the globe.

Obaseki assured, “On our part as a government, we will continue to support policies to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare that encourage consumers of tobacco seeking therapy to be able to access health professionals to enhance their recovery.

“The ongoing decentralization of healthcare services across the state has improved access for more residents to check the increase in cardiovascular diseases associated with the consumption of tobacco.”

He noted that through effective policies, health workers, civil society organisations and relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), will be encouraged to carry out more awareness and sensitisation on the dangers of tobacco consumption.

According to the World Health Organisation, “The harmful impact of the tobacco industry on the environment is vast and growing.

“Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year and destroys our environment, further harming human health, through the cultivation, production, distribution, consumption, and post-consumer waste.”