NEWS BRIEFS

Smoking kills one Slovak every 28 minutes

In Slovakia, almost 3,800 people die of alcoholism annually, and the costs to the state are 16.5 million crowns. Moreover, smoking kills 11,000 citizens, which means that every 28 minutes one person dies of diseases caused by smoking.

The costs to the state for smoking-related diseases reached 40 billion crowns annually, said Milan Lucin, of the National Center for Health Support. He added that "...addiction to illegal drugs, like cocaine and heroin, kills only 2 percent of the population."

Lucian says it is a paradox that despite all the warning statistics, Slovakia has not started fulfilling the European Charter on Alcohol that the Slovak Cabinet adopted in December 1995. The document obliges European countries to incorporate into their national anti-drug programs steps to reduce alcohol consumption.

He complained that within drug prevention funds, there are no funds for anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol ads. "True, we have a wonderful law on the protection of non-smokers, but we have no tools to control its fulfilment," he said.

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