I have heard and read many a times of this common statement, “The federal Ministry of Health warns that Tobacco smoking is dangerous to your health” or “The federal ministry of health warns that Smokers are liable to die young”. Despite all these warnings in Nigeria for instance, the production, sale and smoking of cigarette has been on the increase. Little wondered we continue to witness the death of many youths in our society.
On Thursday 3 March 2005, a Nigerian Newspaper- Tribune- publish news on the rate at which passive smoking kills. According to the paper, more than 11,000 people dies yearly in the United Kingdom much higher than previously thought, as the study shown as a result of passive smoking alone. If statistics shows this much for only passive smoking alone, I wondered how many people would have died due to smoking as a habit.The British Medical Journal study gives a figure for people dying from second-hand smoke in the workplace- 600 a year- for the first time.
Leading doctors said the findings proved a complete ban on smoking in public places was needed. Given the unarguable scientific proof, it is now essential that policies are put in place to protect the public from exposure to other people’s smoke.
Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia compiled the report from a UK database of causes of death, employment, structure of households and levels of active smoking and exposure to passive smoking. Their observation produce startling results. 2700 deaths among ages of 20 and 64 could be attributed to second hand smoke and 8000 in 65 year olds and over.
Tobacco- one of the raw material used in producing cigarette- farming has continue to grow and the business fetching many stakeholders millions of dollars at the expense of the death of our dearly loved ones. Cigarette firms are all over the world, yet we keep advertising that it kills.
The question then is: If we all know and agree that cigarette is a curse rather than been a blessing, why have we been deceiving ourselves with useless advertisements?
The government must urgently barn the production of cigarette and all other related items such as Indian hemp, cocaine, heroine etc. We must stop deceiving ourselves with the solution that we know will fail.
Many people have questioned why God created tobacco if he does not want us to smoke in the first place.In my response to this question, I will like to say that God created Tobacco to be used in making products that will benefit man in the production of e.g medicine in curing disease not to create more troubles to man because everything that God created are meant to benefit man. Lot, in the Bible days used a fragmented wine to intorsicate himself even though that was not the initial plan of God.
We’ve got to stop this malady as Africans to lead the campaign against such and become a pacesetter for other continents in finding solutions to the problems of youth and children deliquesces. Africa is a proud owner of good and well preserved moral values,we must not allow civilization to destroy our good norms, culture, or child training and upbringing which we are known for, even if other continents have lost or destroy their own. We must jeopardize the future of our children because we want to make a fortune in one particular industry or product or not.
The Journal I quoted above later concluded thus “BMA chairman, James Johnson said, As doctors, we see first-hand how second- hand smoke kills. I don’t know how John Reid (the home secretary can continue to serve the public half-measures on health. We need a total ban and we need it now.”