31st May: World No Tobacco Day
By Okpala Uzochukwu
Tobacco contains Nicotine, which is a stimulant. A stimulant is an agent (as a drug) that produces a temporary increase of the functional activity or efficiency of an organism or any of its parts. Dried tobacco leaves are mainly used for smoking in cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco. They can also be consumed as snuff and chewing tobacco.
Cigarretes are a product consumed through inhalation of smoke and manufactured from cured and finely cut tobacco leaves and reconstituted tobacco often combined with other additives then rolled into a paper cylinder.
Tobacco smoking poses a risk to health due to the inhalation of poisonous chemicals in tobacco smoke such as Carbon Monoxide, Cyanide, and Carcinogens ( a substance or agent that causes cancer) which have been proven to cause heart and lung diseases and Cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe tobacco use as "the single most important preventable risk to human health in developed countries and an important cause of premature death worldwide."
The harms caused by inhalation of poisonous chemicals such as Carbon Monoxide in tobacco smoke include diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema), and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancers). Cancer is caused by inhaling carcinogenic substances present in tobacco smoke.
At this point, you might think you are safe, what is in this for me?
You might be a secondhand smoker (one who inhales tobacco smoke from a smoker), Whether in a party, New Buka or in the same room, you are not safe.
Inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke can cause lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. Heart disease caused by secondhand smoke kills around 46,000 nonsmokers every year.
Some facts about Tobacco
1. Tobacco kills more than 7 million people per year
2. 12% of all people aged over 30 are due to tobacco
3. Globally, around 226 million adult tobacco users live in poverty
4. Tobacco related illness, including heart and lung diseases and cancer leaves many families without main salary earners, while at the same time increases health care cost.