Written by Williams ABAH

28, 876 deaths as a result of tobacco smoking in Nigeria- Expert

An Abuja-based Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa, CSEA, has reported that a research it conducted had revealed that 28,876 deaths related to tobacco smoking are recorded annually in Nigeria.

Marco Castradori, a research associate with the CSEA, revealed this in Abuja, at a report dissemination workshop on the health burden and economic cost of smoking in Nigeria.

According to Castradori, the number represents around 16 per cent of deaths from smoking-related diseases and above five per cent of all cases of deaths.

In his words, "Among the disease analysed, nearly 737,366 events are expected each year, of which 127,859 representing 17per cent are attributable to cigarette consumption.

"In terms of costs, these conditions burden the Nigerian healthcare system with nearly N634 billion, of which 526.4 billion, representing 83 per cent are smoking-attributable treatment costs"

He added that Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD, represents the top cause of smoking-attributable mortality with 29 per cent followed by Ischemic heart disease with 17.5 per cent, stroke with 13 per cent.

He further stated that other diseases include passive smoking, 11.5 per cent, lower respiratory tract infection 11 per cent, and also cardiovascular deaths of non-ischemic cause 5.5 per cent.

He explained that smoking generates a direct annual treatment cost of N526.45 billion, which he said, was equivalent to 0.36 per cent of the Nigerian GDP in 2019, and 9.63 per cent of the country’s annual healthcare spending.

Castradori noted that the research had suggested that if the price of tobacco cigarettes were to be raised, by 50 per cent, the 23,838 deaths from the smoking-attributable diseases would be averted in 10 years.

He said this would lead to subsequent savings on healthcare costs with increased tax revenue.

“In Nigeria, the tobacco tax collection does not currently fully cover the direct healthcare costs attributed to smoking. We also supplement the quantitative analysis through focus group discussions with smokers across six Nigeria’s geopolitical zones".

According to him, five major key themes emanated from the discussions

with the participants include; psychological effect, stigmatisation, reduced productivity, fall in standard of living and change in physical health.

“Overall, the result underscores the need for broader tobacco control policies in Nigeria through more tobacco taxes and other supplementary measures,’’ he said.



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