Exposure to secondhand smoke and tobacco use are the leading causes of cardiovascular disease and are linked to some three million deaths per year. Through this Strategy and the new Tobacco and Vaping Products Act, we can help people who use tobacco to stop and we can discourage others from starting.
The WHO said, "The tobacco epidemic was one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than seven million people each year". Tobacco is recognised as a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
Elsewhere in Asia, and around the world, millions of smokers are switching like never before from cigarettes to innovative, smoke-free alternatives like electronic cigarettes or heated tobacco products.Both of these disruptive products eliminate the smoke and significantly reduce levels of harmful chemicals, while still delivering the nicotine and ritual that millions of smokers seek.
World No Tobacco Day falls on May 31 every year and encourages smokers to abstain from tobacco for at least 24 hours as a start to kicking the habit.
In order to reduce premature deaths caused by tobacco, Dr. Carissa Etienne, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), says governments must urgently implement the measures outlined in the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
15 years later, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's.
WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan says tobacco threatens the world.
"When I look at the rates of tobacco use, we have certainly come a long ways, but I personally believe a lot of work needs to be done in this area", said Petitpas Taylor.
Jan Odhano said that the government is responsible for protecting people's health from tobacco exposure and for this objective it has to strictly enforce the tobacco control laws in Pakistan to restrict access to tobacco.
Programs targeting children have helped prevent teens from picking up tobacco products. The number of smokers in the world has barely changed this century: it was also 1.1 billion in 2000.
CTC-Pak officials Jan Odhano, Nadeem Behrani, Qurban Ali and others said that tobacco is the primary contributor to 16 percent of all non-communicable diseases (NCDs) deaths particularly cardiovascular.
But countries must do more to monitor tobacco use in all its forms - not only cigarette smoking.
"It increases awareness of the importance of trying to quit smoking, and like Mark Twain said, "quitting smoking is easy to do".
Smoking also unleashes poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, which replaces oxygen in the blood - reducing the availability of oxygen for the heart.
"Nearly 80 per cent of the more than one billion smokers worldwide live in low and middle-income countries where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest".