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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Cardiovascular Disease, Cigarette Smoking and Premature Death in Tunisia (North Africa)

Imed Harrabi, MD, MPH and Hassen Ghannem, MD, MPH. Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University Hospital Farhat Hached Sousse, Tunisia, Rue Hached, Sousse, Tunisia

Objective: To describe trends in smoking prevalence and to estimate the consequences of smoking on mortality and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) morbidity among the tunisian population.

Methods: Data were collected from surveys conducted by several institutes to estimate smoking prevalence, CVD morbidity and WHO data for numbers of premature deaths by causes.

Results: The proportion of smokers was 30% in 1996, 55% among men versus 5.6% among women. Among 17 to 24 years old young adults, the proportion of smokers was 29.2% in 1994 (50% among men versus 3.9% among women). Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) rate has dramatically increased. In 1992, 39.2% of men and 11.8% of women were admitted for CHD in the public hospitals of Tunis. In 2002, these rates were respectively 58.8% and 38.2%. The principal CHD predictive factor was tobacco smoking. Tobacco smoking is a major cause of premature death. Mortality attributable to tobacco in Tunisia has been estimated to 6430 deaths in 1997 (5580 among men versus 850 among women). These deaths represent 22% of total male deaths and 4% of female ones. A national anti-smoking program has been launched since 1996 with anti-tobacco actions: educational actions, legislative measures, and tobacco price increases. Tobacco Control depends on various parts of society and not only on the individual and it is important to identify the smoking socio-cultural risk factors in order to improve the efficiency of the tunisian anti-smoking program.