According to current global statistics, tobacco kills more than eight million people each year of which 1.2 million are passive smokers.
This was highlighted by Minister for Health Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete during the National Tobacco Control & Enforcement Refresher Training Capacity Building Workshop Training in Nadi yesterday.
Dr Waqainabete says this makes the tobacco epidemic one of the biggest public health threats in the world.
The Minister adds that tobacco use and production lead to premature death and illness, high health care costs, economic losses, widening socio-economic inequality, and hinder the progress towards sustainable development goals.
Dr Waqainabete says the Fijian government has joined the Tobacco Free Pacific Alliance in 2025.
The alliance means that countries in the region will work together to reduce adult tobacco usage to less than 5% by 2025.