In Laos, smoking-related illnesses claim the lives of almost 7,000 people each year, or 19 people per day, plus nonsmokers who inhale second hand smoke.

The declaration was made by Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Minister of Health, at a ceremony marking national “No Tobacco Day” on Monday, ahead of World No Tobacco Day on May 31.

According to him, the percentage of smokers aged 15 and up went from 25.5 percent in 2012 to over 28 percent in 2015, and a statewide survey from 2016 found a growth in cigarette and e-cigarette use among young smokers aged 13 to 15, according to him.

Lung cancer, atherosclerosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are all on the rise among smokers, according to the health sector.

According to the Health Minister, the government spends USD 428 million, or 2.24 percent of GDP, on the care of persons with smoking-related disorders.

The Ministry of Health proposed the topic “Tobacco’s Impact on the Environment” for this year’s “No Tobacco Day.”

Tobacco plantations, according to Dr. Bounfeng, use chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which have an influence on forests. Smoke, on the other hand, pollutes the air and poses a health risk to those who reside nearby.

“Cigarette smoke pollutes the air, putting smokers’ and their neighbours’ health at risk.” “Every year, approximately eight million people die around the world as a result of cigarette smoking, and if nothing is done, that number will rise to one billion by the end of the century,” he said.

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