December 4, 2009
Hazard of smoking

by Reynold Hewitt 04.DEC.09

Environmentalist and Public Health Specialist

It will make you feel like a man, give you good health, happiness, fitness, wealth, power and sexual success. This is how smoking is portrayed by the sellers and manufacturers. This is what every living human wants in life. It was the ideal style/habit for celebrities and persons in authority. It is cool.{{more}}

Smoking is one of the most disgusting habits any individual can ever practice as a hobby. In World War II and even in modern wars, many men and women took up the habit to cope with pressure and the long hours of fighting, and because cigarettes were free.

Today, if you ask a man or woman why they smoke, they will say “to cope with the pressure of life”. But to really understand why people smoke will involve a comprehensive examination of their background.

Most adults who smoke began at an early age and continue into adulthood simply because a family member smoked or they were influenced by a friend. What many youngsters don’t know is that cigarette smoking is very addictive. Once you light up three to four times, you become addicted, you are hooked.

Data from the World Health Organization indicates that one billion men smoke – 35 per cent of men in developed countries and 50 per cent of men in developing countries. In St.Vincent and the Grenadines 20 to 29 per cent of adult men smoke cigarettes. That is high for a small state like ours with a population of 106,000. (WHO statistics)

Cigarette smoking is also prevalent among females. There are approximately 250 million women in the world who are daily smokers. About 22 per cent of women who smoke tobacco are in developed countries and 9 per cent in developing countries. In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, about 10 per cent of the women smoke. It is bad to see men smoke but it is worse to see a woman smoke cigarettes or marijuana.

In 2007, I conducted research among teenage boys between ages 13 to 17 in four secondary schools in Kingston, Jamaica. The survey revealed a smoking prevalence rate of 41 percent among this cohort of students. This was consistent with other studies on teenagers in the same age group in other countries. (X2 =0.003: p