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Ethiopia passes smoking excise bill

Ethiopia passes smoking excise bill

Ethiopia has passed landmark legislation with the aim of curbing smoking in the country. The WHO worked in partnership with civil society groups, the media, medical and professional associations, the government including the Ethiopian Ministry of finance in advocating for the passing of the legislation.

The WHO FCTC recommends an increase in taxes as a significant measure to reduce the economic burden and risks associated with tobacco consumption and the impact it has on society. On the 18th of February 2020, the Ethiopian government took a step in addressing issues of tobacco, adding a 30% tax rate of the cost of producing cigarettes, in addition to a specific excise rate of eight Ethiopian Birr (ETB) (USD$ 0.25) on each individual packet. This is viewed as a great commitment by Ethiopia as prior to the approval of this bill, cigarettes in Ethiopia were among the cheapest in the world, even in comparison to other African countries.

This is a great milestone for Ethiopia, addressing one of the leading causes of non-communicable diseases such cancer, cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive lung disease.

For a full insight read the full article published by the World Health Organisation here.

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Blog post-Reduce your risk of serious lung disease caused by corona virus by quitting smoking and vaping

Blog post-Reduce your risk of serious lung disease caused by corona virus by quitting smoking and vaping

In one of his recent blog posts, Professor of Medicine Stanton Glantz has called on smokers and vapers to consider quitting smoking to reduce their risk of lung disease from corona virus. He highlights that when people’s lungs are exposed to flu or other infections the adverse effects of smoking or vaping are much more serious than among people who do not smoke or vape. Smoking is known to increase the risk of both bacterial and viral infections. It is also associated with increased development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in people with a risk factor like severe infection, non-pulmonary sepsis (blood infection), or blunt trauma. People who have any cotinine (a metabolite of nicotine) in their bodies – even at the low levels associated with secondhand smoke – have substantially increased risk of acute respiratory failure from ARDS. While not yet clear, research on the association between smoking and COVID outcomes is appearing quickly and a better estimate of the actual risk will be known soon.

A recent summary of the pulmonary effects of e-cigarettes reported multiple ways that e-cigarettes impair lungs’ ability to fight off infections (Gotts et al 2019). Reporting of respiratory symptoms by e-cigarette users suggests increased susceptibility to and/or delayed recovery from respiratory infections. It is therefore advisable to avoid smoking or vaping.

The whole bog post can be read HERE

The WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub Secretariat has also warned of increased risk of COVID-19 infection amongst smokers and amongst waterpipe users in this Article.

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