The implementation of measures established by the International Tobacco Control Treaty, such as price and tax increases, has reduced the number of smokers in the country by up to 40%, according to the National Cancer Institute (Inca) doctor and executive secretary. of the National Commission for the Implementation of the Tobacco Control Framework Convention (Conicq), Tania Cavalcante. According to her, they also contribute to the warning of the danger of tobacco, the health warnings on the packaging as well, the ban on the taste of cigarettes and the ban on advertising.
“Although Brazil has greatly reduced the prevalence of smokers to 9.3%, in absolute numbers there are 19 million people, so we need to help these smokers quit and many of them need treatment, which is offered by the Unified Health System. Health (SUS). Although we still have many challenges, we have no advertising and promotion of tobacco products, ”he said during the International Symposium on Alternative Forms of Tobacco Exposure.
According to her, the measures adopted, including the ban on smoking indoors, are having their intended effect and changing society’s perception that smoking is not glamorous and positive, but a public health problem. “If we ask any child or teenager today, they know that, and they are the ones who put pressure on their parents, grandparents not to smoke.
For Tania, preventive measures against tobacco have not been adopted before because there is pressure from the tobacco industry, as many of the measures depend on laws. “If we had previously adopted everything we have today, we would have fewer smokers and fewer deaths and diseases. Today there are 157,000 [annual] deaths from smoking, all preventable, and a $ 57 billion spending on disease a year, while companies profit. ”
The doctor pointed out that we must still be aware of electronic cigarettes, which have been spread as something interesting to reduce the harm to smokers, but that is equally dangerous. According to her, when used to treat a smoker who is trying to quit the conventional, electronic cigarette can be used, but it is important to remember that it is not harmless and companies maintain their interest in expanding their nicotine market.
“Electronic cigarettes are sold in flashy stores, they are colorful, beautiful, trying to convey a perception to the population that it has no harm, but it does. We are seeing in the United States children and adolescents dying of lung damage and no one knows exactly what is happening, ”he said.
Tania said parents should be vigilant to prevent the news from entering their homes and the lives of their children. “The formats are as diverse as possible and can go unnoticed and parents don’t identify. Parents need to be vigilant and inform and guide children not to use and especially remember that lungs we only have two and is an extremely vital organ for life”.