Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death, leading to an annual five million deaths (one in ten adults) around the globe. It is estimated that if current smoking patterns carry on, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030. Cigarette smoking is a risk factor for many cancers and respiratory diseases. The heavier the usage of an individual and the longer he smokes, the higher the risks for smoking-related illnesses.
Cigarette smoking involves inhaling smoke into the lungs. A cigarette contains more than 4000 poisonous chemicals such as nicotine, arsenic, methane, ammonia, cadmium, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, butane, and hydrogen cyanide. Inhaled cigarette smoke can damage the lungs' cilia, tiny hairlike structures that sweep away debris from the lungs. With the cilia paralyzed by smoking, particles such as dirt and toxins can settle in the lung sacks and form tar. These toxins can then move from the lungs via the bloodstream to other parts of the body.
Cigarette smoking is linked with an increased risk of the following cancers: lung, larynx, oral cavity (mouth, tongue, lips), pharynx (throat), esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, bladder and acute leukemia. Cigarette smoking is responsible for at least thirty percent of cancer deaths.
Other health effects
Cigarette smoking is also a known cause for:
- bone thinning
- discoloration of teeth, plaque build-up and gingivitis
- heart attack
- high blood pressure
- mascular degeneration, a disease that causes blindness
- peptic ulcers
- perpiheral vascular disease, improper blood flow in the arms and legs
- reduced sense of smell and taste
Individuals exposed to secondhand smoke (also called environmental tobacco smoke or passive smoking) are also at risk for heart disease. It is especially harmful to children, who have a higher risk of developing asthma, pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases. Secondhand smoke has also been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Cigarette smoking and addiction
Nicotine, a powerful stimulant present in tobacco, can cause physical or psychological dependence. It can spread quickly through the body as it is easily absorbed through the lungs.
Cigarette smoking in the Philippines
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey in 2009, almost 25 percent of all Filipino adults smoke very day. 94% of Filipinos are aware of illnesses caused by smoking. 48.8% of non-smoking Filipinos are exposed to cigarette smoke at home. There are about 20,000 smoking-related deaths in the country everyday.
The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) states that the Philippines has one of the highest shares of young smokers across Asia. Around 30 percent of adolescents in the Philippines' urban areas smoke, with more than 70 percent having started smoking between 13 and 15 years old.
The Philippines is the 15th biggest cigarettes consumer in the world and the largest among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
While the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 bans cigarette commercials on television, radio, cable, print and billboards, it permits advertising within "point of sale retail establishments."
Recently an alliance called G-7 was formed to consistently implement an anti-smoking campaign enforcing RA 9211. G-7 is composed of the Marikina,Pasig, Mandaluyong, Caloocan, Makati, Manila and Quezon cities.
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