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http://thestar.com.my/health/story.asp? ... sec=health


TOBACCO kills. It causes four million deaths per year and there are 1.1 billion smokers. Half of these deaths occur in the productive middle age. By 2030, it will cause 10 million deaths per year if the smoking patterns do not change.

Every day, thousands of young people around the world are trying their first cigarette and 80,000 to 100,000 are becoming regular smokers, often precipitating a lifetime of addiction and untimely death.

The World Health Organization has reported that unless we take every action to change the trend, 250 million children alive today eventually will die from smoking. Those who die from smoking, die on average 14 years earlier. One-third of them will die prematurely because of their dependence on smoking.

n the future, tobacco will become the leading cause of death and disability, thus causing more deaths worldwide than HIV, TB, maternal mortality, MVA, suicide and homicide.

Tobacco is a dangerous product and hazardous to health. Four thousand compounds have been identified in tobacco smoke and at least 43 chemicals in tobacco smoke have been determined to be carcinogenic – (TAR – used in making roads; naptilamine – used in making paint; hydrogen cyanide [HCN] – used as poison gas; benzyl alcohol and amyl alcohol; ammonia – a gas that gives urine its smell). Tobacco also contains nicotine, a substance that is recognised to be addictive by international medical associations. Tobacco dependence is listed in the International Classification of Diseases.

Tobacco must be seen as a drag, not as a mere agricultural product. Smoking causes avoidable disease, premature deaths and unnecessary suffering. Ecologists consider tobacco production and consumption as wasteful in all aspects.

There are more than 25 tobacco related diseases known today including cancers of the lungs, lips, oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, pancreas, larynx, trachea, bronchus and urinary bladder.

About 90% of lung cancer deaths (30% of all cancer), 80% of cases of chronic bronchitis and emphysema and 20 to 25% of coronary heart disease and stroke deaths are attributable to tobacco use.

Nicotine itself has wide-ranging effects. It increases heart rate, blood flow and blood sugar.

In Malaysia, it is estimated that tobacco causes 10,000 deaths per year. The prevalence of smoking among adult Malaysian males is 47.2%. The prevalence of current smokers is high especially among the Malay male (55.6%) as compared to the Chinese male (34.1%) and Indian male (33.4%).

We in Malaysia may not be able to help the 8,000 who die in the world from smoking today, but we can play an important role to help to avoid the 28,000 deaths a day from smoking that we are going to see in the future if smoking patterns do not change. You see that your activities in future will not only have implications in Malaysia but also globally. We will not and should not sit back, we can and must assist the government and the community to do something about this horrific waste of human life.

To sustain an addiction which would otherwise tend to die out, the tobacco industry spends million of dollars on advertising. This is thwarting the efforts of both the government and non-government agencies, to make Malaysians free from this bad habit.

The Malaysian Medical Association Committee on Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has played a significant lead role in organising the annual National No Smoking Week and stop smoking activities in the country for the past 20 years.

Currently, there is an immense wave of opinion against smoking and this is progressively changing behaviour towards a healthier lifestyle in Malaysia. It is one of the important activities towards vision 2020.

Quitting contest

The International Stop Smoking and Win programme (No Smoking Month 1st May - 31st May 2006) is a global event aimed at encouraging smoking cessation.

This programme aims to encourage people to stop smoking, with a positive incentive. It has been organised internationally in May 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 and now in 2006.

It also helps to inform the general public about harmful effects on health by tobacco consumption. It increases awareness of the community, especially among teenagers, about the hazards of tobacco. We must encourage our youth not to smoke and educate the community about the importance of a tobacco-free environment.

Note: Datuk Dr Khoo Kah Lin is a consultant cardiologist and president-elect of the Malaysian Medical Association.

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More scary News. I live 30 Minutes from 4 major tobacco companies. I work next to Lorillard Compny Headquarters. :shock: Thanks Seriously Rich, Knew that smoking was big issue BUT Who knew?

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