Six million people die from smoking globally every year


"Measures that reduce the risks to heart health posed by tobacco include making all indoor public and workplaces completely smoke-free and promoting use of tobacco package warnings that demonstrate the health risks of tobacco".

"We have also raised excise taxes on tobacco products, educated Jamaicans on the health effects of tobacco smoke with a focus on youth, provided support for persons that want to quit smoking through our health facilities", said Dr Tamu Davidson, the director of non-communicable diseases at the Ministry of Health.

World No Tobacco Day 2018 aims to highlight the links between the use of tobacco products and heart and other cardiovascular diseases, increase awareness within the broader public of the impact tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke have on cardiovascular health.

Of the over 7 million tobacco-related deaths annually, about 3 million are from heart diseases and stroke, and close to 900,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke.

The report said in China, more than six out of 10 people were unaware that smoking could cause a heart attack while in India and Indonesia, more than half of all adults did not know that the habit could lead to a stroke.

Although thought to be considerably safer than tobacco cigarettes, studies have linked long-term use to heart disease and cancer. Around a seventh of the global population smokes cigarettes, with around 80 per cent of the world's smokers coming from low and middle income countries.

"You do not have to be a heavy smoker or smoking for a long time to have a heart attack and stroke due to tobacco smoke".

The agency pointed out that tobacco use is responsible for around 17 percent of the almost 18 million deaths from cardiovascular disease around the globe each year.

The tobacco-free standards were also implemented at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Over the years, WHO and multilateral health agencies have encouraged global tobacco regulations and advocacy on the potential health risks of tobacco consumption.

In March, South Africa's Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, expressed his disdain for the tobacco industry, saying that all it caused was "mayhem".

Parts of Western Europe have reached a "standstill", particularly due to a failure to get women to stop smoking, African men are lagging, and tobacco use in the Middle East is actually set to increase, the World Health Organization said.

According to him, there is low level of awareness on the risks that tobacco smoking constitute to the human heart. The number of smokers in the world has barely changed this century: it was also 1.1 billion in 2000.

Worldwide, smoking causes one in 10 deaths, half of them in just four countries - China, India, the United States and Russian Federation, according to the Lancet. Currently, one in four countries have insufficient data to monitor their tobacco epidemic.

Recent measures to attach extra tax to alternative tobacco products have failed in the House and Senate. Cardiovascular illnesses kill 18 million individuals every year - with smoking liable for some three million of those deaths.