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A man smokes a cigarette as he walks early morning in Frankfurt, Germany, Sept. 8, 2020. VOA

The World Health Organization reports tobacco kills 1.9 million people, or 20 percent of all those who die every year from coronary heart disease. In advance of World Heart Day (September 29), WHO, the World Heart Federation and the University of Newcastle Australia have released a new report warning of the dangers of tobacco-induced heart disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death on Earth, killing an estimated 17.9 million people every year. The World Health Organization reports smoking and second-hand smoke are responsible for nearly two million of these deaths.


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Director for Health Promotion at WHO, Ruediger Krech said smokers should take heart. All is not lost. He told VOA even life-long smokers who quit their deadly habit can prevent dying prematurely from heart attack or stroke.

“That’s the good news. If tobacco users take immediate action now and quit, then their risk of heart disease will decrease by 50 percent after one year of not smoking. So, you can, if you quit smoking now, you can have immediate health effects on that,”

he said.


There are about 400 million people who want to quit smoking because of COVID-19. Unsplash

Besides tobacco use, major risk factors for heart disease include lack of exercise, unhealthy diet, high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity and being overweight.

WHO also warns high blood pressure and heart disease increase the risk of severe COVID-19. Krech said people are beginning to understand that smoking during a raging pandemic is not a good idea.

Also Read: Pandemic May Cause a Global Tsunami of Mental Health Problems: Researchers

“There are about 400 million people who want to quit smoking because of COVID-19. They now realize that a pandemic like this which is in the respiratory tract actually—you are more vulnerable, and you will actually develop more severe symptoms,”

he said.

While it is not easy to quit smoking, tools such as nicotine patches are available to help. WHO warns against using smokeless tobacco, which every year, it says, causes around 200,000 deaths from coronary heart disease. It adds e-cigarettes also raise blood pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as COVID-19.

Krech said governments can help people quit by creating communal smoke-free zones, banning tobacco advertising and raising taxes on these deadly commodities. (VOA)


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On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

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Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

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Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

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