By marking the World No Tobacco Day, Coalition of NGO-s for Child Protection – KOMF appeals on preventive measures for awareness raising and stopping tobacco consumption by children, children’s exposure to tobacco smoke, and the limited access for children to purchase tobacco. KOMF considers that Kosovo should prioritize the protection of public health, protection of children from devastating health and social consequences that comes from tobacco consumption.

The data is showing that every day and more that tobacco smoking is seriously endangering the overall health of the population, especially children. Based on the Kosovo Agency of Statistics data, 78% of men and half of women 47% reported that they have used tobacco products, 34% of men and 19% of women smoked cigarettes or used to smoke tobacco products during the last month.

According to the World Health Organization, smoking is one of the major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases and cardiovascular disease. Besides the overall risk of tobacco consumption, children in Kosovo are exposed and endangered by passive smoking. Passive smoking means absorption smoking from someone who smokes, whether in the family, business premises or other premises. Children exposed to passive smoking in the family have a greater risk of getting infections and lung diseases, including bronchitis, pneumonia, and cardiovascular disease.

Besides the fact that Kosovo adopted the Tobacco Control Law in 2008, Kosovo citizens and even some public institutions, violate this law, by not prioritizing protection of public health.

In this case, KOMF appeals on Ministry of Health and Municipalities to develop measures and programs in order to prevent the use of tobacco by children. This can be achieved through the creation and sponsorship of central and municipal providers to offer a variety of services and awareness raising programs for the entire society with the focus on children, for consequences of the consumption of tobacco and other narcotic substances.

KOMF appeals on parents as well, to protect children from smoking by eliminating their consumption in the presence of children.

KOMF appeals on business entities operating in the Republic of Kosovo to comply with the Tobacco Control Law.

KOMF appeals on the authorities to supervise and enforce the use of tobacco control in order to inspect and stop smoking in all areas that are forbidden by the law.

This would help to raise awareness of society and prevent childhood illnesses that occur as a result of tobacco consumption.