DOH cites ill effects of tobacco
by T. Villavert
Iloilo City (17 February) -- Tobacco-related diseases in the Philippines comprise 6-8% of mortality from all causes and that one in every five students aged 13-15 years old currently smoke.
This was presented recently by Dr. Sofia G. Chua, OIC, Director III of the Department of Health Center for Health Development Western Visayas during a press briefing on healthy lifestyle, recently.
Dr. Chua said that the DOH healthy Lifestyle Campaign will focus on the four major chronic diseases, namely cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and diabetes.
According to the 2000 and 2003 Philippines Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), 21.3% of the youths usually smoke at home; 57.4% buy cigarettes in a store; 62.8% who bought cigarettes in a store were not refused purchase because of their age. The report also disclosed that 88.7% think smoking should be banned from public places; and 71.7% think smoke from others is harmful to them.
GYTS, part of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System, was initiated by the World Health Organization and CDC. It was developed to monitor youth tobacco use, attitudes about tobacco, and exposure to tobacco smoke, and has been completed by approximately 1.4 million students in 133 countries.The key goal of GYTS is for countries to conduct the GYTS every 4 years.
According to a medical research in 1960, tobacco smoking showed to be strongly linked to heart and lung diseases.
Tobacco contains nicotine, as well as tar. Both substances get deposited in the bronchi and the lungs. The other chemicals found in tobacco are: acetone, amonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide,methane and benzopyrene. These chemicals are the major factors responsible for smoking related diseases like coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, emphysema, acute bronchitis and cancers of the nose, pharynx, larynx and lungs.
The World Health Organization said that the number of smokers is expected to rise from 1.3 to 1.7 billion by 2005.
WHO said that 100% smoke-free environments are the only proven way to adequately protect the health of all people from the devastating effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.
Second-hand smoke is a smoke exhaled by a smoker and inhaled by other people. Non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke are more at risk because the particles in the exhaled smoke are smaller. They reach deeper into the lungs of the passive smokers. The non-smoker regularly exposed to second-hand smoke, is prone to specific health risks which include: increased risks of heart disease, lung cancer, increase frequency of respiratory infections and asthmatic bronchitis in infants and children, and chronic irritation of the eyes, nose and throat especially among children. (PIA 6) [top]