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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Health Officials speak on dangers of Tobacco Smoking

Director of Disease Control Unit in the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has made a strong statement to both government and citizens of Solomon Islands on health problems which relate to tobacco smoking.

Speaking at an event to mark World No Tobacco Day over the SIBC this morning, doctor John Paulsen called on the government and all elected members of Parliament to take active part in the fight against tobacco smoking.

Dr Paulsen said the responsibility does not lie only with the Ministry of Health, nor donor partners, NGOs and Churches.

He said everybody in the country has to play an active role in protecting their future and that of their children, adding that smoke- related sicknesses continue to impose heavy burden on the national health budget.

"Go to number nine [hospital] or to other provincial hospitals, you will see that the number of people who are being seen or admitted, the majority of these people have diseases that are associated with tobacco smoking, cigarrette smoking, smoking pipes, tobacco rolls and all these different roles of smoking. Talhing about cardio vascular diseases or heart diseases or diserases of the blood vessels, lungs diseases, TB, and all these kinds of diseases are a problem to the nation and continuing to be a problem, and is growing every day."

He said smoke-related sickness are not unique to Solomon Islands, but the world over.

Dr Paulsen said if people want to live long to see their children grow and to enjoy the better part of their lives, then they have to take care of themselves.

He warned leaders and citizens of the country who are already smokers to quit, and for would be smokers to just don't even think about starting.



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