Health Minister, Dr. Irving McIntyre, is encouraging youth in Dominica to reject the use of tobacco.
His statement came on World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) observed on May 31st.
“As a global state, Dominica will adopt the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Campaign to demonstrate how young people can be empowered to take control of their health and reject tobacco addiction,” Dr. McIntyre said.
He continued, “For years the tobacco industry has developed aggressive strategies and tactics, targeting the youth as an emerging and vulnerable market for its addictive tobacco and products.”
The health minister pointed out that more importantly, right now, studies have shown that smokers have a higher risk of developing severe complications when affected with Covid-19.
According to Dr. McIntyre, tobacco is one of the major risk factors for developing non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and respiratory disease which accounts for the top 5 causes of morbidity and mortality in the population.
He said the ministry of health acknowledges that it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to protect the health of the youth – both smokers and non-smokers – from tobacco smoke and tobacco products.
On behalf of the ministry, McIntyre urged the youth to take control of their health and work towards a better and brighter future, “building resilience among the next generation of young people against tobacco and moving steadily to a tobacco-free future.”
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May. This yearly celebration informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight against the use of tobacco, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living.