Stop smoking!

By Abdellatif Sharaa

I learned two days earlier about the death of a friend who was a smoker – a heavy smoker at times. His direct cause of death was cancer, and all indicators place smoking as a prime suspect! It is really sad! I wrote earlier about my dear father who also smoked for a long time, and the ailments that caused his death at a young age of 67 were caused by smoking.

We hear about people from all walks of life, including heads of state, who died as a result of smoking, so I will never get tired of saying the two words – “STOP SMOKING”. This message goes to my children, relatives, friends and fellow humans, as they all must be convinced that smoking cigarettes is not for us people and not for the environment around us.

I mentioned the environment because of what we keep hearing about something called passive smoking. If you have a newborn or a baby at home and you smoke around them – which amounts to a crime in my view – you will bring up a smoker, and when they reach a certain age, even when still considered children, do not be surprised if you catch them with a burning cancer stick between their tender fingers!

Pharmaceutical companies, major and otherwise, have carried out research that confirmed that the chemicals produced by burning tobacco are very harmful, but the addictive nicotine is less harmful, so they worked on producing all types of nicotine replacements including patches, chewing gum, inhalers and so on, but that was not enough to keep the cigarette away!

More recently, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer produced a drug in tablet form with the claim that it helps to quit smoking. To be honest I do not have enough information about how successful this therapy is, but it augments the claim that smoking is bad for our health.

This fact finally rang a very loud bell at tobacco companies, and for the first time I heard officials who say it straightforwardly that smoking is harmful. Already some of these companies have begun the process of moving away from tobacco wrapped in paper to more advanced technological devices that heat tobacco leaves, creating a nicotine vapor that is relatively free from the other chemicals that are produced at a much higher temperatures.

So take it from the manufacturers themselves – smoking is harmful, along with the admission that the new methods and devices are not risk free at all. So please heed the warnings and take the advice of those involved in the medical community, tobacco producers and smokers themselves: Smoking is hazardous to your health and survival – quit it! May God bless you all!