I have been wanting and craving to write this article since time immemorial, the exams, school and everything that is associated with Education has been a major barrier and well also my laziness is a factor.
Jumping off the blame and excuse isle, let’s talk about tobacco in depth, I am talking about Shisha, cigarettes and all those fancy things that you put between lips so as to produce smoke from your nostrils and mouth as deemed classy.
We cannot rule out the fact that Tobacco has earned our country a significant amount of money, but then, the effect it leaves behind is equally enormously challenging. Last month, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, Country Report 2013 was launched at Mackinnon Suites Hotel in Kampala.
This survey is the global standard for systematically monitoring adult tobacco use and tracking key tobacco control indicators.Designed to produce Internationally comparable data for the country as a whole, it basically looked at men and women aged 15 years or older. The survey was conducted by the Uganda Bureau Of Statistics(UBOS) on behalf of the Ministry of Health and with assistance from World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use.
Uganda is a country with approximately 41,602,718 Million people according to Country Metres. In 2013, 1.3 million adults aged 15 years or older used tobacco of which 11.6% where men and 4.6% women and the median amount spent on manufactured cigarettes per month was Ugx11,980 and on average each smoker spent about Ugx20,730 per month. But because of the worrying effects of tobacco on the youth who everyone looks at as the future of Uganda, 88.2% of Ugandan adults favored increasing taxes on tobacco products and 9 in 10 Ugandan Adults favored a complete ban on Tobacco advertising.
Taking into mind that Tobacco is a bigger killer than AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined, efforts to reduce on tobacco consumption should be undertaken. This is because tobacco smoke does not only affect the smoker but also affects the non-smoker when exposed to secondhand smoke.
Use of tobacco products can not be largely blamed on ignorance owing to the fact that 87% of current smokers and 95% of non-smokers believed that smoking causes serious illness. Tobacco use is associated with many health complications that include;
- Multiple Cancers
- coronary heart disease
- Orofacial clefts in infants
- Causes stillbirths
- Causes preterm delivery
- Blindness and Cataracts(with age)
- Worsens Asthma attacks
- Causes Aorticaneursym
- Reduces fertility in men by affecting sperms
- Also affects bones
- Causes Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Affects tooth and gum health
- Causes rheumatoid arthritis.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey(GATS) also highly discusses Tobacco and its control on a wide scale offering recommendations which when followed or approved might help Uganda realise a near smoke free environment. The recommendations stated include;
- protection from Tobacco Smoke.
- Offering help to tobacco quitters.
- Warning people about the dangers of Tobacco.
- Enforcement of bans on Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship.
- Raising Tobacco taxes.
Although it might look classy and trendy to use tobacco at the bar or at home, to please the girls or to pass time, One must take into consideration that Tobacco is a killer that must be feared as much as HIV/AIDs is feared because many people have lost their lives because of the use of tobacco than to AIDs. Many people especially the youth think Tobacco use only causes Cancer, well, I hope they do read this.
Global Adult Tobacco Survey: Country Report 2013