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Harmful effects of tobacco smoking


Tobacco use

MASERU-Tobacco harms the health and spirit of the people in Lesotho, and global statistics show that more than 1 700 people are killed by tobacco-induced diseases, while more than 12 000 young people and more than 236 000 adults continue to use tobacco each day.

Healthy People 2020, a framework for ending tobacco use epidemic shows that the harmful effects of tobacco do not end with the user, and that there is no risk-free level of exposure to second-hand or passive smoking.

The organisation also shows that since 1964, 2.5 million deaths have occurred each year globally among non-smokers who died from diseases caused by second-hand smoke exposure due to heart disease, lung cancer, and stroke in adults, and that it can also lead to a number of health problems in infants and children, including tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), doctors have known for years that smoking causes most lung cancers. And it is still true today, when nearly 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking cigarettes, which means smokers have a greater risk for lung cancer today than they did in 1964, even though they smoke fewer cigarettes, with one reason which may be changes in how cigarettes are made and what chemicals they contain.

Cancer Advocate and Non-Communicable Diseases Officer Sejojo Phaaroe said smoking can also cause different types of cancers including cancer of stomach, lung, liver, kidney and ureter, cervix, bladder, and heard disease and stroke, reproductive effects, age-related macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis, blindness, cataracts, hip fractures, impaired immune function, periodontitis, and overall diminished health

He continues that the smoking can cause cancer and then block your body from fighting it because of poisons in cigarette smoke which can weaken the body’s immune system, making it harder to kill cancer cells, and that when this happens, cancer cells keep growing without being stopped.

Tobacco control policy is an excellent investment in the health of a country's population. According to World Health Organization (WHO), for less than E3 per person per year Lesotho will be able to pay for the four 'best buys' in tobacco control policy, raising tobacco excise taxes, enforcing a comprehensive national smoke-free law and a ban on tobacco advertising and promotion, and mandating large graphic warning labels appear on tobacco product packaging. This small investment will reap enormous dividends in health and prosperity.

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