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“Stop Smoking, Save Lives”

Tobacco in various forms has proved beyond all reasonable doubt to be a killing machine. Despite the information available, the Tobacco Industry continues to succeed by using manipulative tactics to attract both the young and the old.

31st May is World No – Tobacco Day and was used to raise awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco use. The war on curbing smoking for instance continues but globally we are a far cry from winning. The theme for this year is “Tobacco, a threat to development”.

Smoking harms almost every organ of the body and causes ill health. Unfortunately non-smokers who inhale the fumes (passive smoker) are also at risk of the many disease conditions caused by tobacco. Do not be deceived by those who claim that Shisha is a safer alternative. It may actually be more disastrous since several other additives are mixed with the tobacco. Some people even share the pipes bringing into play several other contact diseases.

Tobacco use in various forms puts a strain on many economies as money is channeled into taking care of many illnesses that this killing machine may have caused. The worst news is that many of these people eventually die prematurely or are in no position to contribute actively to the work force.

Growing the plants also requires the use of a lot of pesticides and fertilisers that also end up harming the environment. Whichever way you look at it, messing up with tobacco is a death sentence and it does it slowly causing you pain and raining poverty on you.


Secondhand Smoke and Death

This causes an extremely high number of deaths from lung cancer and heart disease so do not look on passively and inhale smoke from someone else

Premature Deaths

The life expectancy of those who smoke cigarette is at least 10 years less than a non-smoker

Quitting smoking before age 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by about 90%

Do not deceive yourself and start hoping to quit on your fortieth birthday.

Increased risk for death among men and women

There is an increased risk of death from lung diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema, cancer of the lungs, trachea, bronchus

Death from cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease such as a stroke is also very high among both males and females.


Virtually no organ in the body is spared; bladder, stomach, oesophagus, pancreas. The list is long and essentially if you can remember a part of the body then it is likely smoking can cause cancer there.

Oral Care

Tobacco surely affects teeth and gum and in addition to discolouration of teeth it may also lead to teeth loss

Fertility and Childbirth

Getting pregnant and carrying the baby to term is a challenge

Affects a man’s sperm and may lead to sterility

Babies may be born before term or are born with very low birthweight exposing them to other disease conditions

Lifestyle Diseases

The risk of Type II Diabetes is high and also smoking makes it difficult to control the condition

It increases risk of high blood pressure and makes its control difficult.

It thickens the walls of blood vessels and narrows their lumen making it difficult for blood to blood and increasing the pressure against the walls of the blood vessel.

We all need to play a role to stop the harmful effects of tobacco use; cigarette smoking, pipe smoking, huffing and puffing on Shisha is not fashionable. It does not make you look “cool” and even if you do not smoke yet fail to advise those you mingle with to stop, you will also be at risk of several diseases.


Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel

Health Essentials/St Andrews Clinic


Dr Essel is a medical doctor, holds an MBA and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.

Thought for the week – “prevention is certainly better than cure BUT when you fall ill seek a cure immediately instead of holding unto preventive measures only.”

CDC – Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking

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