By Edward B. Antonio
When my non-smoking Uncle Cesar was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs many years ago, his doctor’s first question was, “Do you have a housemate who smokes?”
He said, “Yes.”
His father who survived him for several years was a rabid smoker.
I smoked when I was young, fellas, but when I finished college, I stopped.
I was advised by my doctor to cease smoking because he said it’s the cause of my lingering sinus problem and nasal allergy.
Since then, whenever I get near a smoker, I immediately go away. I get dizzy whenever I inhale cigarette smoke.
One day, while entering a mall, a big, fat elderly woman leaning against the wall suddenly puffed her cigarette and exhaled the smoke. The smoke landed directly at my face. I coughed and started to get dizzy.
I made a U-turn and confronted the woman. I was so terribly angry that when the woman sensed I was in rage, she immediately left the area. I ran after her, but the security guard, who had witnessed everything that happened, grabbed me by the hand and said, “Hayaan ‘nyo na, sir, mapapahamak pa kayo diyan.”
Another scene that I hate so much is when I am aboard my motorcycle just behind another motorist who smokes and all that damn second-hand smoke gets into my face!
So, when I heard that the anti-smoking law will be implemented strictly in the cities particularly Vigan City, I rejoiced. The law will prohibit smokers from smoking in public places.
Why do I hate cigarette smoke, especially those second hand smoke I get from these irresponsible smokers, fellas?
Secondhand smoke is smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes.
It is also that smoke that has been exhaled, or breathed out, by the person smoking.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer.
Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because they breathed secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually. Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer.
And here are more alarming stats:
It causes nearly 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year.
Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25–30%.1
Secondhand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 20-30%.
Secondhand smoke exposure causes more than 8,000 deaths from stroke annually.
Secondhand smoke causes more than 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year.
Even brief secondhand smoke exposure can damage cells in ways that set the cancer process in motion.
Studies show that older children whose parents smoke get sick more often. Their lungs grow less than children who do not breathe secondhand smoke, and they get more bronchitis and pneumonia.
Wheezing and coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in a child. Children with asthma who are around secondhand smoke have more severe and frequent asthma attacks. A severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger.
Children whose parents smoke around them get more ear infections. They also have fluid in their ears more often and have more operations to put in ear tubes for drainage.
So, everything about smoking leads to nowhere, but to the grave fellas.
I wonder what these smokers think of themselves and their families.
“Pupuoram la ketdi ta kwartam,”(You are just burning your money) my late Lola Selda would say whenever she saw me smoking when I was still in high school.
When the smoking ban reached the ear of a pilosopo (clever fool), he said: “I wonder why these lawmakers don’t also require cooking oil manufacturers to label their products with warnings that oil causes high blood, cholesterol attack and heart attack!”
Then he added that the government should also have these liquor manufacturers inscribe in each liquor bottle: “Danger: drinking too much alcohol may damage your liver and causes accidents!”
What a foolish remark, fellas.
But he seems to be correct, right?#