Moldova is among states with largest number of deaths due to smoking

Europe, compared with the rest of the world, is characterized by a high smoking rate. Moldova is among the states with the highest death rate due to diseases associated with smoking. One quarter of the adult population of the country are active smokers and the smoking rate among young people is on the rise. The data were presented in a policy dialogue on tobacco control hosted by Moldova’s Parliament on December 5, IPN reports.

In the opening of the event, Head of Parliament Andrian Candu said Moldova is considered the country that took an important step in the fight against smoking. “A lot of my colleagues contributed to making such legislation, facing considerable resistance. Parliament must weigh everything and take into account also other interests such as the economic ones, but public health is more important,” stated the official.

Deputy Prime Minister responsible for social matters Gheorghe Brega said over 60% of the deaths caused by diseases associated with smoking occur among the active population, with most of the victims being male. The annual costs associated with diseases caused by smoking amount to over 1 billion lei. “The companies working in the tobacco industry are dissatisfied with the new legislation and demand that this should be annulled. It’s clear that commercial interests are pursued. But we will not tolerate the orchestrated abuses of the tobacco industry and the players from behind,” he said.

MP Oxana Domenti, head of the Parliament’s commission on social protection, health and family, said 25% of the adult population of Moldova smokes. The country ranks fourth in Europe by the number of male smokers - 44% of the population. Smoking among young people causes concerns. Among teens, gender differences are less accentuated. According to studies, one person in six is subject to passive smoking at home, while one in four – at the workplace.

The experts involved in discussions said banning of smoking in public places does not represent a violation of the rights of smokers as the people are born non-smokers and the normal state is not to smoke.

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