Smoking causes 30% of cancer deaths in Iran: expert

June 21, 2019

TEHRAN -- About 30% of cancer-related deaths in Iran are caused by smoking cigarettes, the vice president of Ahvaz’s Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences for health affairs announced, ISNA reported on Thursday.

Mehdi Hosseinizadeh pointed to No Tobacco National Week, which was held from June 15 to 21 in the country, as a great opportunity to implement some general plans toward decreasing smoking nationwide.

The national week focuses on World Health Organization’s campaign on World No Tobacco Day (May 31), with the theme of ‘Don’t let tobacco take your breath away’, he explained.

The motto of the national week, ‘no tobacco in public places, citizenship rights’, also declared nationwide, he said.

Any kind of smoking, including cigarette and hookah, is a big part of the problem. It raises your blood pressure and makes blood more likely to clot, he lamented.

It is notable that hookah contains cancer-related substances 46 times more than cigarette as well as carbon monoxide (CO) six times more in comparison with cigarettes.

CO is an invisible, odorless gas that can poison you if you breathe it in.

“Using hookah in public places is a great threat for national health. Moreover, using common hookahs transfer infectious diseases,” he added.

12 percent of Iranian adults are daily smokers

Early this month, Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center announced that about 12 percent of Iranian adults above 15 years old are daily smokers and including hookah smokers, the percentage of smokers reach about 20 percent.

According to the report, about 20 percent of men and two to three percent of women are daily smokers.

Some 30 percent of women and 35 percent of men smoke hookah, which cause lung diseases and other health problems.

In February, the Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association announced that annually about 60,000 deaths linked with cigarette smoking occur in Iran and 90 percent of the lung cancers develop in people who either smoke cigarette or people exposed to second-hand smoke.

Iranian Anti-Tobacco Association announced that 200 billion rials (around $4.7 million) are paid every day for purchasing cigarettes, this amount to 1 quadrillion rials a year (around $238 billion).

What provinces have the highest use?

Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi has announced that cigarette use is the highest in Markazi province, West Azarbaijan province, Qazvin province and Alborz province.

“Also, hookah is used the most in the provinces of Bushehr, Hormozgan, Sistan-Baluchestan and Fars. In southern provinces, hookah use is more widespread among women than men.”

“Smoking rate is the highest among people between the ages of 45 to 54,” he added.

Smoking kills more than 8 million people a year

World Health Organization warns that more than 40 percent of smokers globally die from lung diseases, such as cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis.

The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

The UN agency reports 3.3 million users will die from lung-related diseases. This number includes people exposed to second-hand smoke, among them more than 60,000 children under age five who die of lower respiratory infections due to passive smoking.

SB/MG

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