The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Palau found that out of the 301 participants for the World-No-Tobacco-Day run/walk in Palau on June 1, 93.7% reported that they do not smoke on a daily basis while 83.7% also said that they do not chew betelnut with tobacco.

During the registration for the event, the Coalition had conducted a quick survey of the participants.

The event was part of the campaign against Tobacco smoking and the health risks it brings to smokers and to non-smokers who inhaled secondhand smoke.

Based on the result of the survey, 19 or 6.3% reported that they smoke on a daily basis. Smokers were identified to be of ages 21-55.

The result of the survey also revealed that 49 or 16.3% of the participants reported that they chew betelnut with tobacco on a daily basis. Out of these figure, 62% are females while 38% are males.

President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. previously declared May 31 as a No Tobacco Day in Palau in recognition of the threats posed by smoking tobacco to people’s health.

The World No Tobacco Day is annually observed around the globe every May 31 which is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1987 to highlight the health risks that come with tobacco smoking and as well as to encourage governments to develop initiatives to reduce its use.

Remengesau, through a proclamation, cited that cardiovascular diseases are the number one causes of death in Palau and that smoking is its major contributor.

The proclamation also cited that the “prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases in the Pacific is among the highest in the world and is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.” (Rhealyn C. Pojas)