Smoking, is one of those habits that many people struggle to quit, even though they know the serious health risks associated with it. The statistics are scary but even those do not seem to work. To put it into perspective, tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide, or one person every six seconds. Smoking almost triples the risk of heart disease, more than doubles the risk of having a stroke and can lead to numerous forms of cancer, in addition to having many other negative effects on health.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that despite public health campaigns, smoking remains the leading avoidable cause of death worldwide, killing almost six million people a year, mostly in low and middle-income countries.
WHO director-general, Dr Margaret Chan, points out, "If we do not close ranks and ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, adolescents and young adults will continue to be lured into tobacco consumption by an ever-more aggressive tobacco industry."
Speakers at a media briefing organised by the Free Market Foundation have warned that over restriction of access to tobacco could have a significant impact on and could cause as yet unquantified damage to the economy.
Chris Hart, the chief economist at Investment Solutions, says investments that have been made to comply with the requirements of the Tobacco Control Act to make premises suitable will be neutered.