BUJUMBURA June 7th (ABP) – The Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS through its Integrated Chronic Non-Communicable Disease Program (PNILMCNT) held at the King’s Conference Hotel on June 6, 2019, a media workshop to raise awareness among journalists about the harmful effects of tobacco so that they too can raise public awareness.

In his speech, PNILMCNT Director Etienne Niyonzima first recalled that on May 31 of each year, the world celebrates World No Tobacco Day and that the theme of this year is “Tobacco and lung health.” Dr. Niyonzima said this is an opportunity to sensitize the community about the harmful and deadly effects of smoking exposure and to discourage tobacco consumption in any form.

Dr. Niyonzima also said that the celebration of the day will raise awareness about the negative effects that tobacco has on lung health, ranging from lung cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, worsening of certain respiratory diseases, including the asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and various respiratory tract infections lower than tuberculosis, air pollution.

For a pregnant woman, in utero exposure to toxins from tobacco smoke decreases lung growth and lung function in the fetus. He added that smoking is a real public health problem.

Since tobacco control is multi-sectoral, the director of PNILMCNT reported that the Ministry of Public Health has made a law whose texts for its implementation are also being signed, some are jointly signed by the concerned ministries, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of the Environment.

For the prospects, PNILMCNT plans to set up smoking areas where smokers can be directed to avoid smoking in public, arguing that smoking can endanger people around them. Another thing he mentioned was raising awareness about informing the community about the harms associated with tobacco use, but also about the burden it puts on the country. He invited the media to contribute to that awareness-raising work.

Note that World No Tobacco Day has been celebrated in the Cibitoke province, in Rugombo commune on June 7, 2019.

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