Around 18 percent of women smoke tobacco
There are around 7.5 million cigarette smokers across Iraq, figures show
The figures show that around 18 percent of the women in the autonomous Kurdistan Region are cigarette smokers, according to a survey conducted by Zhian Health Organization (ZHO).
“At least 43 percent of the cigarette smokers of the Region are the young men aged from 15 to 25,” Head of the organization, Qassim Aziz, said.
The figures also show that smoking rates among the doctors is high and is expected to be around 32 percent.
The statistics also demonstrate that around 3 percent of the religious men use tobacco.
According to the conducted survey the smoking cost across Kurdistan is assumed to be around IQD 20 million. Aziz says that the smoking rate is very high in the three provinces of Kurdistan Region, Erbil, Sulaimani and Duhok, describing the phenomenon as very “perilous”.
According to the health statistics across Iraq, including Kurdistan, there are more than 7.5 million smokers, while, most of them will face shortness of breath in the future.
However, the international health organizations warn about the short and long terms of smoking, especially, among the young men. The short-term health outcomes of smoking consist of respiratory and non respiratory effects, addiction to nicotine, and the associated risk of other drug use.
Long-term health outcomes of youth smoking are reinforced by the fact that most young people who smoke regularly continue to smoke throughout adulthood. Cigarette smokers have a lower level of lung function than those persons who have never smoked. Smoking reduces the rate of lung growth, according to medical international health researches.
In addition, Aziz says that the Shisha smoking rate among the young men in Kurdistan has approximately reached 36 percent.
It is said that tobacco most probably kills half of its users. The international figures show that around 6 million people die because of smoking. Out of which, at least 5 million are from direct tobacco use and more than 600, 000 are nonsmokers exposed to second-hand smoke, according to World Health Organization (WHO). The organization predicts that the death toll will reach up to 8 million by 2030.
“There are almost one billion smokers across the world. Of which, around 80 percent are living in the low-income or middle-income countries,” WHO says.
Every six seconds one smoker dies due to tobacco and it accounts one for 10 adult’s deaths approximately.
According to international figures, smoking caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. While it is expected that if the current trends continue, it might cause around one billion deaths in the 21st century.
No Smoking Law in
Although, Kurdistan Parliament ratified the No Smoking Law in Public Places in 2008 but according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Health’s Spokesperson “No one has brought to justice for smoking in public places so far”.
In keeping with the law, any person who smokes in a public place will be fined with IQD 10, 000. However, in the cafeterias and restaurants the penalty is higher and the ministry can punish the smoker from IQD 50, 000 to 500, 000.
According to the article number five of the KRG’s No Smoking Law; it is necessary that tobacco risks should be written on the cigarette packets in Kurdish language. But the law has not been yet enacted, and different sorts of cigarettes are imported to the Region without considering the conditions.
According to ZHO, if a regular smoker in Kurdistan smokes two packets of the cheapest kind of tobacco which is around $1 so it costs him $60 per month. If he continues smoking for the next 10 years, he needs to pay $7, 200 to buy the cheapest kind.
This picture shows a lady smoking in a public place