In a statement, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said over 50 percent of teenagers are regular smokers.
“According to the Global Youth Survey conducted in PNG in 2016, 53 percent of young people (age 13-15) are regular smokers,” Kase said.
He said tobacco use is a major health risk, and leads to cancers, heart disease, chronic respiratory illness, diabetes and stroke in adults.
“It is estimated that 80 percent of premature deaths are attributed to tobacco use in low to middle income countries. This relates directly to PNG,” Kase said.
The annual World No Tobacco Day is commemorated on 31 May every year.