Announcement : Tobacco Control Network Cooperating with NCD NetworkWebmaster TRC
Announcement: Tobacco Control Network Cooperating with NCD Network Tobacco consumption is a major risk factor producing the third highest level of disease burdens after risks
from sexual behavior and alcohol consumption. Smoking increases risk by 2 times for heart disease and 6 and 10 times for emphysema and lung cancer. Besides, findings also indicate that smoking is a caused of smokers having 5 ? 8 years less life on average, 20 ? 25 years shorter life for long term smokers, with approximately 10% of smokers under 44 losing their life caused by smoking.
The overall economic loss is 43.6billion baht (or 0.5% of GDP). This expense consists of: medical expense (14,956 million baht), indirect medical expenses (952 million baht), missing work expenses as care taker (134 Million baht), and productivity loss for premature death (29,984 million baht). The economic loss is considered to amount to 11% of overall health expenses, 15% of the public health expense, and 61% of the public health budget. Although having many tobacco control measures (such as WHO FCTC, Non-Smokers’ Health Protection Act, B.E. 2535 (1992), and Tobacco Control Act, and National Strategic Plan 2012 -2014), there are many challenges facing tobacco control work in Thailand. These challenges include an ineffective tobacco control tax to prevent initial smokers, new tactics of tobacco industries, new marketing strategies enabling adolescents to easily access cigarettes, and ineffective law enforcement.
The Ministry of Public Health issues policy plans to reduce the number of teenage smokers with a modest goal of 10%, and encourages healthy public places to be 100% smoke ? free places. However, survey results on Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption of the National Statistical Office indicates that the smoking rate among adolescents15 ? 18 years old increased from 7.25% (2007) to 9.21% (2011). Smoking in adolescents is likely to get higher in the future if smoking control performance does not improve through community actions. Moreover, it appears that there are smokers smoking even in public health service places in every province (17.43%).
In addition, survey results also indicate that 29.6% of adolescents aged 15 ? 18 years see, smell, and find cigarette butts even on school premises. Adolescent smokers aged 15 ? 18 are even able to buy cigarettes by themselves (79.4%) and able to buy single cigarettes (71.3%). Moreover, adolescents also have access to cheap cigarettes (33 baht per pack), and 25%smoke inexpensive shredded tobacco.
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Coordinator: Haris Taweewatana, Tel., 0-2354-5346, 089-6627-917, Fax: 0-2354-5347 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org