Smoking – A Man’s Avoidable Luxury?







""Rupal Aroza 12,  only daughter of  Rony and Pamela Aroza of Doha, Qatar hailing from Tottam, is also the grand-niece of  the late Sr.Auria A.C. of St.Agnes College. Rupal is a brilliant VIIth  standard student of the Ideal Indian School,  member of the St.Don Bosco Children’s Choir of  Doha, a very good dancer and has participated in many cultural programmes and traditional mando programmes as well as  Melwyn Nite, Claude Nite in Qatar organized by the MCC. During one of her visits to the Hamad Hospital when she went to meet her mother  who works as a Nurse since many years, that she was stuck with the sight  of a middle aged man literally struggling to cough and learnt from her mother that he is suffering from Lung Cancer caused due to excessive smoking for many years?and then she started thinking a lot on the subject??..and is here sharing her thoughts with the distinguished readers of the Mangalorean.com.


I am a child, the only child to my parents and just completing twelve.  As a family we do socialize a lot – attend birthday parties, functions, weddings, anniversaries, or public shows like Wilfy Nites, sing in the church choir and also take active part in stage shows especially cultural activities.  Just recently I won the second prize for solo singing in a major singing competition.  My parents always accompany me wherever I go and keep advising me and explaining the importance of various activities in which I either  take part or participate as an audience.  However,  there is something I am still trying to understand and have just failed to get the answer?..how come everywhere so many people smoke so much and what could possibly be its impact on their own health, the health of their families especially small children (if they smoke so much like that in their homes), or  those around them in their work places or in public places like theatres, offices, buses or trains or even in cars while driving, sometimes even in hotels, schools or auditoriums and alas even in hospitals and nursing homes or maternity homes unmindful of the misery their smoke may give to nursing mothers and their new born infant babies..


Giving further thought to this subject and glancing through various media sources and also person to person discussion with my close friends especially my best friend Sana Britto, my tender mind suddenly stumbled upon something that just gave me the shivers.  If someone in a crowd is sick and sneezes or coughs, right on our face, just how do we feel?..then how come anyone who smokes, first inhales the smoke deep inside his lung system and then exhales so much so the smoke engulfs  all those around them ?quite nauseating right??…. And God forbid, if the smoker has any disease, contagious or normal?.what will be the fate of those who inhale such smoke coming out of his body  which certainly will be polluted and contains the microbes related to the sickness which could be cancer or asthma or tuberculosis or even the dreaded HIV Virus that causes AIDS.


Am I wrong to assume that a smoker by smoking more and more cigarettes,


(1) Injures his own health, almost like killing himself or herself, and causes misery and loss to his family and loved ones especially his own children?


(2) Injures the health of those around him (especially those who do not smoke who are known as passive smokers), thereby making him a "killer" whose actions will ultimately lead to the death of others and cause misery to their families?


Yes people at times, especially young children, including school-going boys and girls smoke "Just for Fun" without realizing or thinking about its harmful effects on health. The fancy advertising campaigns of cigarette companies motivates young teenagers to smoke by brain-washing them with catchy themes and slogans like – "Made for each other". They even use movie actors and actresses to buttress their claims and glamorize smoking. There are many in the movie acting field who have wisely refused to advertise or endorse smoking ?.but then money talks.


The dangerous health effects of tobacco smoking have been long recognized. As early as 19th Century, isolated reports were circulated that cigar and pipe smoking caused cancer of the mouth.  By 1950 firm evidence indeed established that lung cancer was directly linked to Cigarette smoking and now we come across legal cases proving that many leading cigarette manufacturing companies had in fact suppressed this evidence and marketed their cigarettes, knowingly of their harmful effects on lungs.


It is this belief that compelled many governments in the world to ban smoking among teenagers or those below 21 years of age.


My amateur research on smoking and its injurious role to human life, made me go a few steps further to find out what exactly is there in a cigarette that makes it attractive or addictive. I was amazed to learn that a cigarette contains minute traces of nearly 4000 chemicals most of which are poisonous, like


Nicotine, arsenic (used as rat poison),
Methane ? a component of rocket fuel,
Ammonia ? found in floor cleaning detergents, 
cardmium ? used in dry cells, carbon monoxide ? similar to car
exhaust, formaldehyde ? which is used to preserve body tissues,
butane ? a fluid used in lighters,
Hydorgen Cyanide the poison similar to the one used by Hitler in the gas chambers.


Imagine each time you inhale cigarette smoke ? you inhale traces of all these deadly poisonous chemicals?? first in your mouth, inside of your mouth, your teeth, then your respiratory systems including the larynx, throat, voice boxes, lungs including small alveoles?.and then  do you think your bloodstream will also not absorb most of these chemicals and perhaps even hurt or destroy the Red Corpuscles or White Corpuscles and even destroy the immunity system  in your blood stream?..in short a slow poisoning of yourself and others around you?. and everyone knows what affects the human body when its very immune system is destroyed or weakened.


And it really gives me a strange feeling to see young ladies, especially young girls, teenagers, almost continuously smoking cigarettes ?.. and with all these dangerous chemicals entering their bloodstreams, I shudder to think what will be the fate of the innocent children they will conceive in their wombs later on in life?.that is won’t the babies inherit the same stained blood from their mothers especially when they are in their mother’s womb and after birth when they are fed with mother’s milk?


While so many all around us have taken up with smoking most of the time, I am forced to admire our own choirmaster  Dony Lobo whom we affectionately address as Uncle Dony, who never smokes  any cigar or  cigarette nor has he ever smoked a cigarette in his entire life??he is nearly 58, is healthy, he sings and even speaks during public functions?.with a very clear  loud voice unlike the husky voices of  most of those who smoke ?.  many cigarettes per day. How I wish  all others around me follow his example. Incidentally I once asked him as to why he never smokes, and this was his impressive reply?"From my young age, I used to love singing, and my college vice-principal Fr.Stan Vaz used to  advise me never to smoke if  I wanted  to maintain my voice. Dear friends, if  you ever heard his songs like Rozaline Moja Mogachya etc in his famous tape/CD made in the early 80s, "Traditional Folk Songs of Mangalore"?..you will know what I am talking about?and still his voice is just the same.


Yes, I am young, but I want to dedicate my life for a major mission; to try and educate everyone around me, people known to me or unknown to me about the harmful effects of smoking.  ; and also advise them as to what best course they could take to genuinely stop smoking.


A) Eat lots of carrots and celery sticks  or any item with low food calories
B) Exercise ? keep inhaling lots of fresh air especially on the hillside or open places like building terraces or open play ground?..inhale lots of fresh  air rather than polluted cigarette smoke
C)  When a cigarette  is in front of you? think ?should I smoke (and destroy my health) ?? or?. not (Protect my health and my family’s health)


D) Think  and work out the cost of your smoking :
  
a) If you smoke one packet per day  .it may cost you 2 or 3 dollars or average   2.5$
b)So if you smoke 30 packets per month then it will cost you  75 $  per month
c) For 12 months it will work out to ?.$ 900.


Once you smoke, apart fro harming your health, indirectly you also burn the 900 $., and you can never get it back.


Instead with that money if each year you buy a nice God Chain for your daughter, within 10 years you will have 9000 $ worth of gold ornaments with you, or as gift to your loved ones.


Now you choose ??want to burn your money or..?

Author: Rupal Aroza- Qatar