The Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, has urged the youth to engage with the ministry and other government institutions in the fight against smoking and its effects.
While addressing over 1000 secondary students from various schools in Kigali City on the World No Tobacco Day at the Amahoro National Stadium yesterday, Sezibera advised the students against Tobacco smoking as it’s the main cause of Lung Cancer and Tuberculosis.
“According to a recent survey carried out by the Global Youth Tobacco Survey team, smoking is on the increase among the youth aged between 13 and 15,” he revealed.
“I call on you, as future focused students, to join the government in its efforts in sensitizing and encouraging all Rwandans to fight against all sorts of smoking because smoking is dangerous to our health”.
He requested the students to play the role of ambassadors to help educate their communities and fellow students on the dangers of tobacco.
On his part, the representative of World Health Organisation, Dr Abdoulie Dodou Jack, said that there is evidence that Tobacco marketing targeting female consumers is on the increase.
“I call upon policy makers in Rwanda to develop and enforce a comprehensive ban on direct and indirect advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products and to also ban smoking in all public places including work and residential places and restaurants” he urged.
“The use of tobacco kills, incapacitates millions of people in the most productive years of their lives, so I advise every student who is here, to avoid smoking and to sensitize fellow students to do the same as well”.
He also called upon all male smokers to avoid exposing their families and many others to second-hand smoke since their smoking habits pose considerable health hazards to others especially women and children whom they live or work with.