ALGIERS, The Director of Chronic Diseases Control at the Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform, Youcef Terfani, has revealed that 1.5 billion cigarettes are produced annually in Algeria while the average daily individual consumption is 17 cigarettes.

Speaking during an awareness-raising meeting held as part of the observation of World No Tobacco Day at the National Public Health Institute here Thursday, Terfani stressed that the tobacco addiction rate was relatively stable in 2017 with nearly 15 per cent of the population smoking, including 8.0 per cent of those in schools.

The reasons behind this stabilization consist in the 100 to 150 per cent increase in the per package price pof cigarettes between 2015 and 2018 in addition to the taxes imposed on this dangerous product, a large part of which is allocated to the National Cancer Fund, explained Terfani.

The operations conducted by the National Police and the National Gendarmerie to fight against tobacco trafficking resulted in the seizure of 1.128 billion of packages and thus a form of price control, he added.

As for the fight against tobacco in schools, he stated that the Ministries of Education and Health intensified their efforts through large-scale awareness-raising campaigns conducted by school doctors countrywide, said the official.

He also referred to the strategy adopted by Algeria in accordance with the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) adopted in 2003, the decrease in tobacco addiction among youth, the protection of citizens exposed to secondary smoke in public places and the national strategy for smoking-cessation assistance 2016-2019.

The Director-General of Health Prevention and Promotion, Djamel Fourar, said the national study conducted in 2017 by the Health Ministry in co-ordination with the WHO office in Algiers and the National Statistics Office, whose results will be announced soon, will provide precise statistics on consumption per province with a view to controlling smoking propagation in the society.

Public authorities have drafted “a legal arsenal of fight against this scourge requiring strict measures for its enforcement, notably the 14 articles provided by the law on health, recalled Fourar.

According to WHO data, about 146,000 individuals aged under 30 die each year in Africa from diseases caused by smoking.

Source: Nam News Network

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