World Tobacco Day: The need to quit smoking

Nothing is more valuable than life, as such, one needs to be very careful in choosing what he/she eats or drinks. The World Tobacco Day is set aside every May 31, to raise awareness on the negative consequences of smoking tobacco as well as other smocks items.

In the case of Nigeria, where smoking has become a habit among the youth, it’s pertinent to note, smoking tobacco has no positive benefits. Smoking of cigarettes, marijuana, hookah (shisha) has become fashionable, among the youths.

Despite being written boldly on the packet of the above listed, that smokers are liable to die young, our people have ignored the warning. Therefore, no matter how you view it, tobacco is dangerous to health, and there are no safe substances in any tobacco. From acetone and tar to nicotine and carbon monoxide, the substances you inhale don’t just affect your lungs, they also affect your entire body.

Smoking can lead to a variety of complications in the body, as well as long-term effects on body systems. Tobacco smoking is harmful to health, there’s no safe way to smoke, replacing cigarette with a cigar, pipe, or hookah won’t prevent the health risks.

When you inhale smoke, you’re taking in substances that can damage your lungs; over time, this damage leads to a variety of problems such as emphysema chronic bronchitis, lungs cancer, unnecessary coughing, sneezing, asthma, etc. Smoking also causes high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respiratory discomfort, weakens blood vessels, and increase blood clots.

Similarly, smoking increases the risk of mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus cancer, smokers have higher rates of pancreatic cancer usually. Even people who “smoke but don’t inhale” face an increased risk of mouth cancer. For both male and female, smoking tobacco reduces sexual performances.

As the world observes tobacco day, there is the need for government and stakeholders to introduce policies than can reduce the rate of tobacco smoking so as to protect young Nigerians from risking their lives. This can be done through sensitization, awareness campaigns as well as regulating its market as it has no health benefit.

Hannatu Bitrus Dan’asali,

Department of Mass Communication

University Maiduguri

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