SEATCA Press Release on World Hypertension Day 2019

The following is the statement of Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, Executive Director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA):

“Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, vision loss, and dementia leading to disabilities and premature deaths among millions of people worldwide. World Hypertension Day observed every 17 May is an important call to act against an obvious driver of hypertension: tobacco and nicotine use, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and heated tobacco products (HTPs).

“Tobacco use increases blood pressure acutely and increases the risk of renovascular, malignant, and masked hypertension. Specifically, nicotine in tobacco products is an extremely strong stimulant that constricts arteries, reduces blood flow, causes blood pressure to rise, and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that all forms of tobacco, including heated tobacco products (HTPs), are harmful and that there is no evidence to demonstrate that HTPs are less harmful than conventional tobacco products.

“To reduce the deaths and diseases caused by hypertension, governments must:

  • Regularly increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products to make them continually less affordable, especially to the youth and the poor, and allocate tobacco tax revenues for health and development programs such as Universal Health Care (UHC);
  • Ban e-cigarettes and emerging tobacco products, such as HTPS, unless proven safe for human consumption; and
  • Enforce 100% smoke-free laws to protect the public from exposure to tobacco smoke.

“In the ASEAN region, more than 500,000 people are killed annually by tobacco-caused illnesses such as heart diseases, stroke and cancer. Worldwide, tobacco kills more than 7 million people annually.”



17 May 2019

Wendell C Balderas, Media and Communications Manager – SEATCA
Email: | Mobile: +63 999 881 2117 ##

SEATCA is a multi-sectoral non-governmental alliance promoting health and saving lives by assisting ASEAN countries to accelerate and effectively implement the evidence-based tobacco control measures contained in the WHO FCTC. Acknowledged by governments, academic institutions, and civil society for its advancement of tobacco control movements in Southeast Asia, the WHO bestowed on SEATCA the World No Tobacco Day Award in 2004 and the WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition Award in 2014.