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The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged African nations to levy tobacco-related environmental taxes throughout the value and supply chains, including production, processing, distribution, sales, consumption, and waste disposal.

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Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the Regional Director for Africa, made the plea in a message on Monday to commemorate the 2022 World No Tobacco Day, which is observed on May 31 every year.

The goal of the day, according to Moeti, was to raise awareness about the severe health, social, economic, and environmental consequences of tobacco manufacturing and usage.

She explained that this year’s topic, “Tobacco: Threat to our Environment,” was chosen to highlight the full tobacco cycle’s environmental impact, from cultivation through manufacture and distribution to the hazardous waste it generates.

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Moeti urged countries to speed up the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which offers the required direction for progressing toward smoke-free settings.

According to her, the framework would establish programs to assist tobacco smokers in quitting, as well as support the use of excise taxes and other financial remedies.

Despite the fact that 24 African countries have banned smoking in public places and 35 have banned tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, one out of every ten African adolescents, according to Moeti, uses tobacco.

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