According to World Health Organization (WHO), every year roughly about eight million people die from smoking-related diseases and more than seven million of those deaths are of non-smokers being exposed to second hand smoke. There is no form of tobacco that is safe, some people have the capricious belief that smoking stogie is safe compared to cigarette; which was scientifically proved to be untrue.
Some people smoke cigarettes to numb their level of depressions and stress; smoking does not lower depression but stores harmful toxics that could terminate life if victims refuse to heed to the warnings. Some are puffing cigarettes due to pressure and influence from peers; daily mingling with friends that smoke gradually makes one to develop interest in it and tries to feel how others are feeling.
Another key cause of smoking is growing in a family where everyone freely smokes; sending children on errands to buy cigarette or smoking it in their presence make them see it as good.
Smoking is a threat to health as it weakens the immune system because nicotine hinders its smooth function; it also leads to bad breath, stained and loss of teeth. Minor sicknesses to other people that do not smoke become serious to those that smoke because their immune systems are weak and could not stand against the invading nicotine toxics. Perturbingly, Cancer Council stated that, ‘If the present weak regulations in developing countries continue, tobacco would kill approximately 10 million people annually’.
Therefore, to eliminate tobacco usage, there is need to decrease the level of tobacco adverts, marketing and promotion in online and offline media. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is a milestone in the protection of public health. Some of the measures carved out by FCTC include monitoring tobacco use and prevention, protecting people from tobacco use, offering help to quit tobacco use, warning about the dangers of tobacco and enforcing bans on tobacco adverts, promotion or sponsorship. Implementing these measures in countries could eventually lead to tobacco-free societies.
Governments should establish centres for keeping repented smokers, so as to make them forget their past smoking life and build greater future. Heavy tax should be imposed on tobacco; tracking and tracing devices should be made available at borders in order to detect tobacco hidden in luggage and anyone found guilty should be punished.
Mukhtar Garba Kobi can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org