Smok­ing can cause al­most 20 can­cers

Sun.Star Pampanga - - HEALTHNEWS! -

MANILA -- No mat­ter how you take to­bacco into your body — through smok­ing or in­hal­ing sec­ond­hand smoke — it af­fects not only your lungs but also your en­tire body.

Emer Ro­jas, a vic­tim of to­bacco and pres­i­dent of can­cer sup­port group New Vois As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (NVAP) said smok­ing leads to many killer d i seases.

"Ang sigar­i­lyo ay may taglay ng mahigit 7,000 kemikal at 70 dito ay maar­ing magka-can­cer ang makalang­hap nito. Hindi lang ang hu­mi­hi­tit nito ang maar­ing magkasakit kung hindi pati na ang mga katabing nakakalang­hap ng ib­in­ubugang usok nito (Cig­a­rettes con­tain more than 7,000 chem­i­cals, of which 70 are known car­cino­gens. Smok­ers are di­rectly af­fected while oth­ers who do not smoke are af­fected by sec­ond­hand smoke if they come near smok­ers)," he said in a re­cent in­ter­view with the Philip­pine News Agency (PNA).

While many peo­ple al­ready know about this, Ro­jas said smok­ers con­tinue to smoke be­cause of ad­dic­tion.

"Ang panini­gar­i­lyo ay mahi­rap iwasan dahil ito ay may taglay na nico­tine na isa sa pinaka ad­dic­tive sub­stance. Dahil dito ay hindi na maalis ng karami­han ang bisy­ong ito (Smok­ing is ad­dic­tive brought about by the nico­tine con­tent of cig­a­rettes. Be­cause of this most peo­ple can­not stop this vice)," he added.

Ro­jas had stage 4 throat can­cer at the age of 44. He started smok­ing when he was 17 years old.

"Ti­nang­gal nila ang vo­cal chords para al­isin ang can­cer (They [doc­tors] re­moved my vo­cal chords to stop the can­cer from spread­ing)," he said.

Philip­pine So­ci­ety of Med­i­cal On­col­ogy pres­i­dent Dr. Jose Gar­cia Jr. said smok­ing can cause al­most 20 can­cers.

"Kasama na diyan ang (These in­clude) can­cer of the lungs, mouth, throat, nose, si­nus, blad­der, kid­ney, ure­thra, esoph­a­gus, pan­creas, stom­ach, liver, cervix, ovary, colon and blood," he said.

Apart from can­cers, Philip­pine So­ci­ety of Hyper­ten­sion Pres­i­dent Dr. Al­berto Ati­lano, mean­while, said smok­ing is one of the main causes of hyper­ten­sion among adults.

Hyper­ten­sion or high blood pres­sure of­ten lead to se­vere com­pli­ca­tions and in­creases the risk of heart dis­ease, stroke, and even death.

"Ako isang es­pe­siyal­ista na gu­mag­amot sa al­tapresyon, para mala­man ninyo, two years ago, (I am a spe­cial­ist treat­ing high blood pres­sure, and for your in­for­ma­tion) hyper­ten­sion so­ci­eties around the world for­mally ac­cepted the re­la­tion­ship of smok­ing and hyper­ten­sion. We've known about this for a long time, but there's no for­mal dec­la­ra­tion that smok­ing must be avoided to pre­vent hyper­ten­sion and cure hyper­ten­sion quickly.

Non-smok­ers could also ac­quire se­ri­ous to­bacco-re­lated dis­eases through sec­ond­hand smoke.

Child Neu­rol­ogy So­ci­ety of the Philip­pines rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dr. Josefa Vic­to­ria Panlilio said this is es­pe­cially true for chil­dren sur­rounded by adult smok­ers.

"Chil­dren are also in­di­rectly af­fected by smok­ing through the sec­ond-hand and third-hand smoke, they are more toxic in terms of the residue and this can af­fect the brain. Dis­eases like epilepsy, brain tu­mors, pe­di­atric stroke, cere­bral palsy may be caused by it," she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO), there are 7 mil­lion deaths due to to­bacco use world­wide an­nu­ally. About 260,000 of these cases are child deaths caused by in­hala­tion of sec­ond­hand smoke.

Deaths due to sec­ond­hand smok­ing

Apart from child deaths due to sec­ond­hand smoke, the in­creas­ing rate of teenagers us­ing to­bacco has in­creased alarm­ingly, es­pe­cially in third world coun­tries, such as the Philippi nes.

The Global Youth To­bacco Sur­vey (GYTS) said there had been 3.1 per­cent in­crease in school chil­dren aged 13 to 15 years old who smoke from 2011 to 2015 na­tion­wide. Most of these chil­dren are boys.

GYTS is a school­based sur­vey which en­ables coun­tries to mon­i­tor to­bacco use among youth and to guide the im­ple­men­ta­tion and eval­u­a­tion of to­bacco pre­ven­tion and con­trol pro­grams.

Ro­jas said it takes a lot of self-con­trol and de­ter­mi­na­tion for smok­ers "to stop this deadly ad­dic­tion".

"If not pos­si­ble to abruptly quit smok­ing, there are many ces­sa­tion clin­ics in hos­pi­tals such as Lung Cen­ter, East Av­enue Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Heart Cen­ter and St. Luke's Med­i­cal Cen­ter," he sai d.

Higher to­bacco ex­cise tax Re­fer­ring to the higher ex­cise tax on to­bacco, Gar­cia said one of the ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions to dis­cour­age peo­ple from smok­ing is to weaken their power to pur­chase cig­a­rettes as higher to­bacco tax would mean pricier cig­a­rettes and other to­bacco prod­ucts.

Gar­cia added that higher to­bacco tax could fund pro­grams for the early di­ag­no­sis and pre­ven­tion of can­cers as well as cu­ra­tive and pal­lia­tive care for can­cer pa­tients.

"For ex­am­ple, I can­not give you an ex­act data on can­cer in­ci­dence be­cause we are us­ing an old sys­tem, the fund from higher tax on to­bacco and al­co­hol the will take care of the Na­tional Can­cer Registry, it's very im­por­tant so we can take a lot of re­searches for the ben­e­fit of our can­cer pa­tients," he said.

Mean­while, Ro­jas said higher cig­a­rette prices make cig­a­rettes less af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble to the poor and young peo­ple.

"It will also pre­vent would-be smok­ers from light­ing up their first stick," he added.

Thank­ful of his "sec­ond life, Ro­jas has com­mit­ted to shar­ing his health and his life ex­pe­ri­ence to warn peo­ple about the dan­gers of smok­ing and his fam­ily joined him.

To­gether with his fam­ily and NVAP mem­bers, Ro­jas con­tin­ues to en­gage in ral­lies and give speeches and mes­sages through ra­dio and tele­vi­sion shows to ad­vo­cate against smok­ing and to pro­tect chil­dren from its dan­gers. ( PNA)

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