Smoking most preventable cause of death in Iran: deputy health minister

July 7, 2017

TEHRAN — Smoking is amongst the most common preventable causes of death in Iran, the deputy health minister said, Nasimonline reported on Wednesday.

“Every year some 55,000 to 65,000 individuals die of smoking in Iran while it is the most preventable cause of death in the country,” Ali-Akbar Sayyari explained.

Sayyari said in case Majlis (Iranian parliament) approves a bill to increase sales tax the income can be spent on treatment of diseases caused by smoking. 

“Increasing the sales tax on cigarette is one of the effective strategies implemented worldwide to reduce smoking rate,” he explained.

It has been scientifically proved that smokers who begin smoking by the age 18 are losing 20 years of life expectancy on average, the health official regretted.

He went on to say that Iranians spend some 100 trillion rials (nearly $2.5 billion) on smoking per annum while twice the amount is spent on treating smoking-related diseases. 

The deputy health minister said media has the potential to shape lifestyle and turn people away from undesirable behaviors such as smoking.

“Athletes and actors should join hands to fight smoking, some are already cooperating but the rest should join the campaign as well,” he stated. 
 
MQ/PA

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