Smoking hazards

Published December 17, 2013

TOBACCO smoking in Pakistan is legal because of which Pakistan has highest consumption of tobacco in Asia. According to a survey, 42 per cent of men and 15 per cent women are regular smokers in Pakistan.

Twetnty-eight per cent youths of Pakistan are addicted to tobacco smoking. It has become a fashion for the students. About 1,000 to 1,200 college or university students smoke daily.

A significant number of people also use smokeless tobacco in the form of paan, gutka and naswar, etc. Nicotine is an addictive substance in tobacco that causes smokers to continue their smoking habit.

Along with nicotine, smokers inhale about 7,000 other chemicals. These chemicals harm every organ in the body. Many of these chemicals came from burning of tobacco leaf.

Tobacco smoke contains over 60 cancer-causing chemicals. The most damaging components of tobacco smoke are tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and free radicals. Smoking is also one of the causes of heart diseases. Long-term smoking causes cancer of lung, mouth, nose and throat, etc. A WHO report says that tobacco use is the second highest cause of deaths.

Doctors say smoking one cigarette reduces one’s lifespan by 11 minutes. About 5.4 million people die due to use of tobacco every year around the world.

According to the National Institute of Health, more than 100,000 people in Pakistan die due to the use of tobacco. To save the nation from ruination, we should create awareness among youths about negative effects of smoking.

There should be a ban on advertising of tobacco. The government should make strict laws for the sale of cigarettes and also ban shisha. Higher tax rates on cigarettes can also reduce smoking.

M. Asadullah
Peshawar

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