Policy Suggestion: Measures and Motivations to Reduce Tobacco Use by Industrial and Agriculture Employees

Introduction: The importance of the problem : Tobacco use is a leading cause of at least 25 dangerous diseases such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and cancers of various organs in the body.1 Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are toxic and harmful to the human body. At least 69 chemicals are causes of cancer such as arsenic, benzene, beryllium, heavy metals, formaldehyde, and others.  Although exposure to secondhand smoke contains similar chemicals at lower levels, it is also dangerous and harmful.2

WHO reports that the number of people losing their lives from smoking is nearly 6 million people per year. Over 5 million people died from direct smoking while over 600,000 people died from secondhand smoke exposure. If this problem cannot be solved urgently, the number of people losing their lives could be over 8 million by 2030. 3 For Thailand, Bureau of Tobacco Control, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health reports that 52,000 Thai people per year lose their life from smoking, or 142 per day, or 6 people per hour on average. The number of lives lost from factory-made and roll your own (RYO) cigarette smoking is 5.1 and 4.7 million people respectively. 4

In addition to lives lost from health conditions, cigarette smoking is also a cause of massive economic losses to the country. Literature reviews show that cigarette smoking results in costs to smokers, government and society through the cost of purchasing cigarettes, paying for medical treatment, losing income from work absences, loss of effectiveness at work, and losses of time and labor by relatives who are family members of smokers due to the care they give to their smoking family member. Moreover, cigarettes also cause the premature death of smokers. A study of the disease burden from risk factors in Thai people in 2009 indicated that the most important risk factor causing death for Thai males was tobacco use which was responsible for 17% of the overall number of deaths. 5 The number of people over 30 losing their lives from smoking was 50,710 people per year (or 12% of the overall number of deaths). A press release titled, ?Disease burden and costs from cigarette smoking? on 5 March 2013 by the Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center (TRC) criticized this economic loss caused by tobacco – related diseases (Diseases

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