Saint Lucia’s Health Minister has urged an end to what she described as ‘the scourge of smoking’, to ensure a brighter and happier future for children.
Senator Mary Isaac spoke during a message to mark World No Tobacco Day.
The day will be observed on May 31.
“There is clear scientific evidence that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke leads to adverse health and developmental conditions for children,” Isaac noted.
She said that the overall burden of increased respiratory illnesses, especially COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, as well as hypertension, heart attacks, strokes and cancers affecting the mouth, tongue, throat, esophagus, pancreas and liver, put a heavy cost to health care.
“This is a cost we cannot bear. We must reduce these lifestyle related diseases by playing our roles as individuals, as families, in schools, workplaces and communities. We must stop the scourge of smoking to ensure a brighter and happier future for our children,” Isaac declared.
The minister said the Government has an indispensable role to play in protecting the health of the people of Saint Lucia.
She explained that tobacco control is part of the overall health agenda to reduce Non Communicable diseases, which cause 8 out of every 10 deaths in Saint Lucia.
Our theme and focus for World No Tobacco Day 2019 is: “Tobacco and Lung Health.”