A local official has appealed to young people to stay away from the use of tobacco because of the negative impact it has on health, among other things.
Director of the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat, Charmaine Hippolyte, said in an interview that controlling the use of tobacco can help break the cycle of poverty, contribute to ending hunger, promote economic growth and combat climate change.
Hippolyte called for a collaborative effort to curb tobacco consumption.
She asserted that all stakeholders, including government, should be a part of the initiative.
“Any strategies that will be put in place, it has to be a collaborative effort for everyone to actually benefit,” the Substance Abuse Advisory Council Secretariat official observed.
She expressed the view that the government can increase taxes, a move which she explained could deter persons from using tobacco.
Hippolyte declared that individuals should also take greater responsibility for their health.
She spoke in an interview with the Communications Unit of the Ministry of Health and Wellness as Saint Lucia joined in the observance today of World No Tobacco Day.
The theme for the observance is – ‘Tobacco – a threat to development.’
“We have realized the impact that tobacco use has on individuals, families and communities and it is for this reason that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has actually joined in and put measures and activities in place to be a part of this observance,” Hippolyte said.
She noted that tobacco use results in social as well as health issues including cancer related illnesses, poor oral health and yellowing of the teeth.
Hippolyte observed that because of the effect of second hand smoke, persons who smoke tobacco not only affect themselves but others as well.
According to reports, the World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that mortality figures across the Globe will grow to more than 8 million a year by 2030 without intensified action against tobacco consumption.