HAVANA.- (ACN) Various actions are taken by Cuba in the fight against smoking, taking into account that its prevalence is 24 percent, which places the country in third place with the highest rate of addiction in Latin America.

Dr. Elba Lorenzo, national coordinator of the Ministry of Public Health's Smoking Prevention and Control Program, told that the program was created in 1986 and since then, a system has been structured based on legislation to create smoke-free environments and prioritize the treatment
and rehabilitation of patients.

Despite all efforts, the official warned that adolescents start smoking earlier and said that although Cuba does not have a law that covers the whole society, there is a legal framework for state agencies, which includes all educational centers.

The specialist noted that Cuba's top priorities include non-smoking initiation in adolescents and young people, consolidating established institutional norms, as well as drawing attention to respect for smoke-free environments.

On the occasion of the World No Tobacco Day, held every May 31, Cuba joins the actions that this year has as central topic the social commitment in the fight against smoking, under the motto: "Let's avoid tobacco, move forward development".

Research carried out by the National Institute of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology reveals that worldwide Cuba is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of passive smoking at home, considering that more than half of the families are exposed to environmental impact of cigars.

This is a health problem so, intersectorial measures must be taken to reduce morbidity and premature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), experts warn.