Policy 101
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What you should know about tobacco?

Tobacco is the only product sold in the USAPI that when used as instructed kills people. It is the only legal way to kill someone. It is a major risk factor for all major NCDs, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory disease.

Why is it important?

  • Tobacco kills up to half of its users.
  • Nearly 80% of the world's one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The US-Affiliated Pacific Islands have very high rates of tobacco use:
  • Tobacco Use in the USAPI Youth Adults
    Marshall Islands 25.9%1 (any tobacco use) 19.8%7 (current daily smokers)
    Palau 50.3%2 (any tobacco use) n/a
    FSM 37.0%3 (other tobacco use) 31.6%8 (current smokers)
    Guam 23.1%4 (current smokers) 27.4%9 (current smokers)
    American Samoa 24.2%5 (current smokers) 29.9%10 (current smokers)
    CNMI 23.9%6 (current smokers) 21.8%11 (current smokers)
    1 GYTS 2009; 2 PYTS 2009; 3 2007 FSM Epi Profile-(28.3% current smokers); 4 2007 Epi Profile Guam - YRBS 2007; 5 Epi Profile, A.S. (high school). 33% for college students; 6 2011 YRBS (high school students) as reported in CNMI; 7NCD STEPS survey 2002 as reported in the RMI Epi profile, 2010; 8 2002 STEPS Report, Pohnpei State; 9 DPHSS, BRFSS, 2008 as reported in Guam Epi Profile Update, 2008; 10 2004 STEPS survey; 11 who smoke every day during the past 30 days 2011 CNMI Epi Profile.
  • It is estimated that two people die each minute from tobacco-related disease in the Western Pacific Region.
  • Secondhand smoke causes premature birth and miscarriages in pregnant women.
  • Secondhand smoke has immediate negative effects on the cardiovascular system, which can cause lung cancer and heart disease.

How you can address and reduce the use of tobacco in the Pacific Islands?

PIHOA's Calendar

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