(DNO) A 24-hour abstinence from smoking is being encouraged today as Dominica joins the rest of the world in observance of No Tobacco Day.
Health Minister Julius Timothy, in delivering an address to officially mark the day’s observance, says he is hoping that Dominicans will recognize the adverse effects of smoking.
This year the World Health Organization has selected the theme “Gender and Tobacco” with the emphasis on marketing to women.
“The purpose of this day is twofold. One, to encourage countries and governments to work towards enforcing stricter regulations of tobacco products and to raise the awareness of all persons on the deadly nature of tobacco marketing, especially women and girls,” he said.
According to Timothy, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable deaths, killing 5.4 million people a year.
“The theme suggests that drawing attention to the harmful effects of tobacco marketing towards women and girls. It will also highlight the need for nearly 170 parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco control to ban all tobacco advertising promotion and sponsorship, in accordance with their constitutional principles,” he said.
The Health Minister also highlighted the rising prevalence of tobacco use young girls.