Kick the Butt

Do you know? Smokers live an average of 15 years less than non-smokers and agricultural land in poor countries is being used increasingly for tobacco as observed in the third edition of The Tobacco Atlas brought out by the American Cancer Society and the World Lung Foundation. John Seeffrin of the American Cancer Society says, “Tobacco is the only consumer product that harms every person exposed to it and kills half of its regular users. Approximately 650 million smokers are alive today – 10% of the current world population – will eventually succumb to tobacco-related disease.

The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes and about 13 times higher among women smokers, when compared with non-smokers. Tobacco causes up to 90% of lung cancer cases and is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. It is silent killer too. Exposure to second-hand smoke kills 2,00,000 workers every year and at home, it kills thousands of infants, children, foetuses and adults. The passive effects increase their risk of getting heart disease by 25 to 30% and lung cancer by at least 20 to 30%. In spite of these facts, global tobacco production has almost doubled since the 60s increasing 300% in low and middle resource countries while dropping over 50% in developed countries. In 2006, world tobacco production totalled nearly 7 million metric tonnes, with 85% of the toxic leaf grown in underdeveloped countries. Tobacco is grown in more than 120 countries on almost million hectares of agricultural land, as much land as the world’s banana plantations. It is welcoming fact that higher educated men are abandoning tobacco addiction but poorer and less educated men are still pursuing.

The facts cumulatively make us aware how much this addiction costs us. We need to kick the butt. All over the world, we need to propound the concept of creating a smoke-free environment. We need to explore out innovative ways to fight against the rampant problem of nicotine addiction. To lessen the passive affects of smoking, we need to enforce ban over it at public places. Mere issuance of orders for the ban does not do the job unless there are some personnel out for penalizing heavily the offending persons because the addiction to the nicotine is so much that the people do not mind paying a small fine if the offence is noticed ever. A number of Governments have promulgated various laws to combat this social illness but they are not being implemented so stringently perhaps due to counter pressure being created by the tobacco companies. It appears that the people need to be told that the tobacco industry is manipulating and duping them through heavy investment on the advertisements that proclaim glamour, sex appeal and athletic ability, whereas these products do opposite. Once they realize, the tobacco use may decline drastically. Particularly youngsters are required to be made aware that the addiction of nicotine in any shape would show its bad effects when they cross 40th year of their age when they would be more near to the ill-fated diseases like cancer. They may lead to acne, impotence and other more serious consequences. The pollutants created with the use of tobacco directly enter the lungs to damage our respiratory system and increase heart problem.

It has been emphatically noticed that it is not difficult to kick the butt in case we develop strong determination to do so. We must do it to remain happy. We may give up but slowly and slowly. We should commit to ourselves that their quantity of use will not go up once that is reduced.