Less lung cancer due to re­duc­tion in to­bacco use

Jamaica Gleaner - - HEALTH -

THE JA­MAICA Cancer So­ci­ety is re­port­ing that there has been a de­cline in re­ports of lung cancer, and that the trend is ex­pected to con­tinue with a re­duc­tion in the use of to­bacco.

Ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ja­maica Cancer So­ci­ety, Yulit Gor­don, said that the fall in num­bers was re­ported in the last pub­lished re­port of the Ja­maica Cancer Registry in 2010.

“There was a de­cline in the in­ci­dence of lung cancer from 25.4 per 100,000 for the pe­riod 1993-1997 to 18.6 per 100,000 in 20032007,” she ex­plained.

Gor­don said that a down­ward tra­jec­tory in the use of to­bacco is ex­pected, aug­mented by the re­in­force­ment of the To­bacco Con­trol Leg­is­la­tion in July 2013.

She noted, how­ever, that special at­ten­tion needs to be placed on the youth, as the smok­ing trend for the 1315 age group is in stark con­trast to the de­clin­ing fig­ures.

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor cited a study con­ducted by the Na­tional Coun­cil on Drug Abuse in 2010, which in­di­cated that the preva­lence of smok­ing among Ja­maican youth be­tween the ages of 13 and 15 years has in­creased from 15 per cent to 24.9 per cent. The study also re­vealed that Ja­maican youth be­gin smok­ing as early as 13 years of age. It also showed that at least 44.4 per cent of stu­dents have smoked at least once; 31.3 per cent have smoked a to­bacco prod­uct and 20.2 per cent have smoked cig­a­rettes. Gor­don out­lined the dan­gers of smok­ing by young peo­ple, ex­plain­ing that the short-term health con­se­quences of smok­ing in­clude res­pi­ra­tory and non-res­pi­ra­tory ef­fects, ad­dic­tion to nico­tine, and the as­so­ci­ated risk of other sub­stance abuse. “Long-term health con­se­quences of youth smok­ing are re­in­forced by the fact that most young peo­ple who smoke reg­u­larly con­tinue to smoke through­out adult­hood,” she added. She warned that to­bacco use can af­fect youth ac­tiv­i­ties and ath­letic per­for­mance as it nar­rows blood ves­sels and puts a strain on the heart. It also leads to a lack of oxy­gen and short­ness of breath. Gor­don is­sued an ap­peal for par­ents, guardians, teach­ers, guid­ance coun­sel­lors and per­sons with in­flu­ence to get in­formed about the dan­gers of smok­ing and to im­part its im­pact, in or­der to dis­cour­age chil­dren from start­ing the habit.

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