July 11, 2006

Tobacco: the new pandemic?

Posted in Celebrities, Health and Fitness, News at 11:04 pm by Calico Jack

A new reference guide, published by the American Cancer Society in conjunction with the WHO and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggests that as many as a billion people could die as a direct result of tobacco use over the next hundred years. Currently, 1 in 5 deaths from cancer are linked to tobacco use, and lung cancer is the most diagnosed among the 10.9 million new cases every year.

With thousands of studies and decades of statistical evidence showing the harmful effects that tobacco has on the human body, why do so many people continue to ignore what is right in front of their eyes? Over 1.25 billion people currently use tobacco, and it is expected that the numbers will continue to gradually grow over the coming decades. If the WHO is correct in its estimates, tobacco use will kill ten times the number of people in the 21st century as it did in the 20th century. Unlike fifty years ago, however, the claims are now irrefutable: Tobacco is directly responsible for not only all kinds of cancers, but also severe cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Cigarettes are full of carcinogens and nitrosamines, and even non-smoking tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth and throat.

Again, I ask: Why? Why would anyone voluntarily choose to pump his body full of chemicals? It can no longer be that smoking is perceived as the cool thing to do. Years of public health warnings have given everyone all of the facts they need to make an informed decision. Even Hollywood, for the most part, doesn’t glamorize tobacco use like they did in the ’40s and ’50s. Yes, people still smoke in movies; but does anyone actually think “Wow, that’s so cool!” when they see Jude Law lighting up in Alfie? Throughout their lives, children are warned about the dangers of smoking. Yet somehow, every generation raises up a new wave of smokers to ruin their lungs and stain their teeth. When will it end? When will people finally wake up and say “No more!” to tobacco use? What will it take to break the mindset that one can be a smoker and stay healthy? Tobacco kills; it’s been proven time after time. And there are potentially a billion future deaths that could easily be avoided, but only if people choose to say no.

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2 Comments »

  1. windmillmom said,

    Kids who grow up in homes where one or both parents smoke, don’t even smell the stench of cigarette smoke. Everyone knows that kids are highly influenced by their parents. This is one thing they can have in common with them. As to why people don’t quit, there are a number of reasons. First, the nicotine is addicting. People also don’t want to gain weight or take on another vice. Some are afraid of going through withdrawal. Finally, people enjoy the social climate of having a cigarette after a meal, etc. Do I agree? No! There are lots of helps available for anyone who wants to stop. Parents need to be more responsible in keeping smoke away from their children but, sadly, the big ME usually wins out.

  2. dr. gonzo said,

    Alas, I smoke like a fiend.


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