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Health Minister: Tobacco use contributes to 12% of all heart disease deaths

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) kill more people than any other cause of death worldwide, and tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure contribute to approximately 12% of all heart disease deaths, Health Minister Venko Filipce said Wednesday at an event organized in Skopje to mark the World No Tobacco Day – 31 May.

Under the slogan ‘Choose Health, Not Tobacco’, Macedonia’s Ministry of Health again this year in cooperation with the Public Health Institute and World Health Organization (WHO) is observing the World No Tobacco Day.

‘By launching the campaign and joint efforts of all stakeholders we can achieve a lot to cut the tobacco consumption and improve the health of all citizens – the most significant investment in the socio-economic development of every country,’ Filipce said.

According to WHO data, the global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to 900 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. Nearly 80% of the more than 1 billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest.

This year the World No Tobacco Day will focus on the impact tobacco has on the cardiovascular health of people worldwide. Tobacco use is an important risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease, WHO says.