Posted 12:28 AM ET
HAVANA, May 27, 2011 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Smoking causes 17 percent of
annual deaths in Cuba besides heavy economic losses to the state,
according to a local expert here Thursday.
Alfredo Duenas, chief of Preventive Cardiology at the Institute of
Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, said that the "addiction takes
away 10 years of remaining life of the smokers."
Duenas said that a third of the Cuban adult population smoke, "which is
a hindrance to the development of the nation".
"The dire consequences of smoking, besides diminishing quality of life,
have significant impact on health and economic costs to the individuals
and to the country's budget, due to illness and the expense involved,"
He said that "85 percent of Cubans are exposed to cigarette smoke in
public and private spaces."
Cigars and snuff production is one of Cuban main industries, but the
national anti-smoking campaigns are intense and smoking is banned in
most of public places.