By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Government has scaled up its campaign against drug abuse and other substances by establishing drug-free clubs in government’s owned secondary schools.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker, who made this disclosure while speaking at the press conference to commemorate the 2021 World No Tobacco Day with the theme, “Commit to Quit”, in Abeokuta, described tobacco use as the single most preventable cause of death in the world.
Coker said the decision to take the campaign to school was informed by the fact that nearly nine out of 10 smokers start before age 18, noting that every single day, more than 3,200 teenagers under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarettes.
She said that about six million people die yearly from tobacco-related diseases, adding that 16,800 individuals die of tobacco-related illnesses annually in Nigeria.
The commissioner noted that tobacco use increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, lung cancer and chronic lung problems, adding that male and female infertility, miscarriage, weak immune system and premature ageing are associated negative impacts of the substance.
Coker said that smoking has both socio-economic and environmental implications which have a huge burden on labour and productivity.