Saturday, May 31, 2008

No Smoking

Here in California, there is a bill pending in the state legislature that would empower a landlord to prohibit smoking within the rental premises. Over the last 20 years, cigarette smoking has dropped drastically in the US due to higher taxes that make the product more expensive, more inconvenience as it is banned in restaurants, government offices, public transportation, zero advertising on television plus a barrage of warnings that detail the many evils the habit brings.

In the Philippines, there are four million Filipino youths who smoke fully one fifth of the total youth population. This is because many provincial governments rely on tobacco revenue for their continued existence and US producers aggressively court this giant market with free samples and clever gimmicks while making sure, of course that the traditional politicians look the other way with generous contributions.

From my perspective as a physician, there can be no filthier habit than smoking. Lung cancer, obstructive lung disease, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis, respiratory infections, oropharyngeal cancers are all directly related to smoking. While there are many who smoke in order to avail of the anorexiant properties of nicotine especially during these days of ridiculously high food prices and there quite a few who smoke to ward away the multitudes of hemorrhagic-fever-bearing mosquitoes, the adverse effects overwhelmingly negate whatever salutary benefits that smoking brings.

Let us follow California. Let us respect those who choose to smoke but let us make them bear the costs that their polluting habit brings. Raise taxes, prohibit smoking in most public venues and ban advertising. We need to plant rice, not tobacco.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

If nobody on earth smokes, the average human lifespan would increase resulting in population explosion. The demand for food and fossil fuel would icrease. More healthy human beings means higher and more carbon footprints. Global warming (or climate change as George Bush prefers to call it)
is hastened and California will be wiped off the face of the earth.
I say let them smoke so we can slow down global warming.

azron said...

You have my total support -

there are two exports the US should not be proud of - baby formula and tobacco!!

ron

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