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Tobacco Smoking Causes Over 8 Million Deaths Yearly – Anatomy Professor


Professor Gabriel Omotoso, an Anatomy professor at the University of Ilorin, has highlighted tobacco smoking as a major cause of preventable deaths and diseases globally, noting it results in over eight million deaths each year.

During the 259th inaugural lecture at the university, Professor Omotoso shared that the current global tobacco user estimate stands at 1.25 billion people, with 80% residing in low- and middle-income countries.

In his lecture titled “White Matter Matters in the Search for Phytochemical Candidates for Demyelinating Disorders,” he revealed that out of the eight million annual deaths from tobacco use, 1.3 million are due to non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Despite extensive health education and awareness efforts on the dangers of smoking, many people continue to smoke, said Omotoso, who teaches in the Department of Anatomy at the College of Health Sciences, University of Ilorin.

He pointed out that in Nigeria, 10% of the population smokes tobacco daily.

Omotoso detailed the harmful effects of cigarette smoke on various organs, particularly its negative impact on male reproductive health and adult brains through passive smoke exposure.

To combat the tobacco issue, he emphasised the importance of protecting children from tobacco industry influences and urged the government to enforce tobacco production laws.

Professor Omotoso stressed the need for public awareness campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of smoking and improve access to diagnostic tools to better address disease diagnosis challenges in the country.

Speaking on the lethal nature of both active and passive smoking, he advised people to avoid tobacco like a plague.

He specifically urged pregnant women and those planning to conceive to steer clear of tobacco exposure.

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