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Embracing President Koroma’s health care message – it’s time to also ban smoking in public places

Embracing President Koroma’s health care message – it’s time to also ban smoking in public places

Bad Breath, Bad Health and Bad Habit: Whether you smoke cigars, cannabis sativa, “Jambah”, cigarette or cocaine, you may have noticed that the majority of the people don’t like you to smoke in public places, no matter who you are, what you are or where you live. In fact, my next publications will be all about the domino effects of smoking and I will strongly recommend our governments both local and city to probably pass a public smoking ban in all government offices, restaurants, medical facilities and school grounds.   This will raise the ire of smokers, but for the non-smoker, the ban will be like a breath of fresh air.

Pregnant women, children, sick and hospital patients should feel the need and believe it is their right to be in public places, clinics, government offices, food stores and restaurants without having to breathe the dangerous cigarette smoke and second hand smoke.

As H.E. President Dr. Koroma has just delivered his Health Care Plan and the will to protect pregnant women, children and the sick, there are other supporters who really want to ban smoking, while others support against it. Smokers have the right to light up when they get the urge or craving, while non-smokers have a right to breathe clean air.

These few questions may be silly, but I had to ask them myself: Why is smoking getting to be a controversial subject? Why is the ban needed to begin with?

With a little investigation and web research into the reasons for smoking and why it is dangerous, my results can shed some light on the subject.

The dangers of smoking ‘Life and Death’

Bad breath and funky smell.  Smoking is dangerous for a number of reasons. People who smoke, contract heart disease, stroke, lung disease, impotence, etc. Why does smoking cause all these diseases? And why do people get so addicted so easily? All the reason is what the cigarette is made of, to get addicted (aficionado). The leaves of the tobacco plant are picked, dried, chopped up, and rolled into paper tubes. The tubes are then stuck into the mouth, lit, and the poison-laden smoke is taken into the lungs. Each time a person smokes a cigarette, they take an average of five minutes off his/her life. This is about the same time it takes to smoke the cigarette. Smoking cigarettes causes hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

The biggest chemical that causes the tobacco habit is a highly addictive drug called Nicotine. Nicotine will act like a stimulant, depressant, or tranquilizer. It is what causes smokers to get into the habit of smoking. Tobacco is one of the most physiologically damaging substances used by man. It is not definitely known why, but it is likely that nicotine affects the parts of the brain called pleasure centers. These are very small areas that are active during pleasant sensations. Smokers seem to give themselves pleasure by taking nicotine into the body where it is passed to the brain’s pleasure centers.

Unfortunately, after smoking, half of the nicotine taken in, is gone within half an hour. As the nicotine level drops, the smoker begins to feel worse and a new craving for nicotine is initiated. The body also develops a tolerance to the nicotine. This requires more of it to reach the same levels of satisfaction or pleasure. Herein starts the vicious cycle of need and craving known as “ADDICTION”.

In Sierra Leone today, there are more options to stop smoking while slowly reducing the need or craving for the nicotine. Either ban smoking in all public places or our doctors can now prescribe patches, gums, and a number of alternate therapies to slowly reduce the dependence on the nicotine. It is still not an easy road but holds great potential for many.

Causes of Smoking

Second hand smoke is not good for children, pregnant mothers and the sick. There are many diseases associated with smoking, lung cancer being number one. Lung cancer is very common. Many people will be diagnosed with lung cancer every year. It is the leading cause of cancer related deaths around the world. It develops most often in scared or chronically diseased lungs. Most of all the cases of lung cancer are attributed to cigarette smoking.  Lung cancer occurs when cells in the lung start to grow rapidly in an uncontrolled manner. Lung cancer can start anywhere in the lungs and affect any part of the respiratory system.

I am appealing to all Members of Representative to ban the smoking at all public places to jump start President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s Health Care Plan.

Essa Thaim Kurugba, Columbus, Ohio, USA

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