This piece I wrote exactly 11 months back for our apartments journal club, dont know what happened to the article though. Today while looking for something in my laptop, I re-discovered it. It is again about smoking .....
Do passive smokers have a choice?
Have you been sick? I bet all of us at some point of time must have fallen sick. Do you recall what you felt during your sickness? The overbearing thought of getting well is what comes to mind when we fall sick. So, now the question is if there are people who really want to invite sickness. Well, I can give one group of people that definitely invite sickness for themselves and also for others. So, who are these disgusting set of people – the answer is the people that smoke in public places.
Even a first grader knows smoking is hazardous and those who smoke can eventually face multiple problems including cancer, high blood pressure, low immunity, palpitations and a range of other diseases. Smoking continuously, reduces your life span by 10 years. Again it affects your quality of life substantially even if you managed to be alive. People, who continuously smoke, age faster than non-smokers. While most of the smokers are aware of this, they just do it never-the-less. While, it is a choice they make for themselves, they have no right to be the bearer of poorer health for others. So, what are the dangers of being a passive smoker?
Study reveals that passive smokers also face health hazards exactly similar to active smokers. Wikipedia records reveal that passive smoking can even cause disability and death. Passive smoking causes cancer, cardio-vascular diseases and respiratory diseases. It is known also to cause asthma, dementia (loss of memory), crohn’s disease, tooth decay, allergies among others. Does it sound scary? Yes it does. Ever since we came here (to be precise on 25th July 2012), I have noticed one common trait – people smoking everywhere - more so in public places. I got appalled that no one is raising any concern to this!! I was undergoing some job medical test, and one of the panel doctors was smoking in a closed room and to my horror, the other doctors present there never raised any alarm. You go out on the street; I bet you will find every 2-3 feet one smoker carelessly puffing up smoke without bothering about the surrounding. I have lived in other parts of India and abroad but never seen anyone smoking as much as they do here. I am wondering if there is a special reason behind this.
While smokers are willingly destroying their health, they have no right to put others in danger. There is a nationwide law against smoking since 2008 – that bans people from public smoking. If someone found smoking in public then a fine of $5 can be slapped on them.
What can we do to protect ourselves?
Anytime you see someone smoking in a public place, just try and raise your voice. I think it has been that the smokers have taken it for granted that they have every right to smoke anywhere they like. If everybody raises voice, then they will be conscious and eventually this practice will die a natural death.Wish you all a very happy and healthy smoke free dussera.