TOBACCO is responsible for more preventable deaths than obesity, alcohol, road accidents, drug abuse and HIV combined, according to experts.
It prematurely kills around eight million people annually worldwide.
Speaking at a meeting of health journalists across Africa, Africa Medical Association president, Kgosi Letlape, said there were no relevant policies on tobacco throughout Africa, and challenged nations to implement policies that focus on tobacco harm reduction.
He argued that non-combustible tobacco products should be promoted in order to decrease the number of deaths related to smoking.
“The problem with tobacco related diseases is they largely come from products of combustion. People have now switched from fighting combustible tobacco to fighting nicotine in any form.
“We need to ensure that we create a legislative framework that will improve access to people who smoke being well informed about the effects of these products.
“The framework should regulate products in accordance with the harm associated with those products and that is what should inform our policy making and regulations,” he said.
Clive Bates, director of Action on Smoking and Health UK, said that people smoke for nicotine, but die from tar.