Every person should have smoke-free air to breathe. According to Who, tobacco kills nearly six million people each year, of which more than 6,00,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. This tobacco will kill more than eight million people every year by 2030. More than 80 per cent of these deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries.
Consumption of tobacco products is increasing globally, but it is decreasing in some high-income and upper middle-income countries. In Bangladesh it is increasing very rapidly.
Second-hand smoke fills restaurants, offices or other closed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water pipes. There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
Tobacco taxes are the most effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among young people and poor people. Cost of cigarettes should be increased in such height which will be very costly for youngsters. “The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.” A family can help a smoker to refrain from it.
“To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did. I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times.” Mark Twain said with humour. Repeatedly start smoking and stop it –is not the solution. One has to leave it because every person loves himself most; how can he love his death, named-tobacco?
Everyone knows the adverse reaction of smoking; nothing new in it. To ban advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco is most welcome if our policy makers and government wishes; but it is not enough to stop tobacco intake. Along with ban, we need mass awareness in public and family levels.
Then choice is yours -- whether you will embrace your death or live your life in healthy way.
The writer is senior Lecturer, Dept. of English, ASA University Bangladesh.