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Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

Seventy-five-year-old Nalini Satyanarayan says, “I can't breathe through my nose. I breathe through the hole in my neck, this process is called a stoma.

Nalini is a non-smoker, but in the 33 years of her marriage, she has been exposed to other people's secondhand smoke. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, five years after her husband's death.

Nalini, who lives in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, told a foreign broadcaster that 'my husband used to smoke cigarettes all the time. I didn't know if it would affect me or if it would be as bad for me. I was worried about his health and kept asking him to stop smoking, but I don't think anything I said would have had any effect on him.''

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that smoking kills 8 million people every year. Of these, 1.2 million died from secondhand smoke. Many people around the world are suffering from life-limiting diseases.

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, we have stories of people like Nalini before us. They are among those people who do not smoke themselves but get other diseases due to their partner's smoking habit.
Table of Content (toc)

Change in voice

Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

One day, Nalini was narrating interesting stories to her first granddaughter, Janani, when she realized that her voice had become hoarse. In a short time, she could not speak clearly and her breathing started to swell.

Her disease was diagnosed as breast cancer. Doctors removed her vocal cord muscles and thyroids. "I lost the ability to speak," she says. It was very disappointing. Then the doctors told me that I would never get my original voice back.

Janani, now 15, remembers what suddenly happened to her 'talkative grandmother'. Janani recalls that day and says that when her grandmother was diagnosed with the disease, she was not at home during that time.

However, when her grandmother returned, four-year-old Nalini saw that there were tubes in her stomach. There were tubes everywhere. We often had to clean our house and had a nurse stay with us. I don't think I realized the gravity of the moment. It was all just disgusting to me.

Breast cancer

Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

Nalini received good medical care and was able to speak again with the help of a vibration voice box. She knew the reason for her pain. Nalini says that I got cancer because of my husband. Smokers exhale most of the toxins and those around them are not smokers themselves but are exposed to a type of passive smoking and the smoke emitted by other smokers. There are.'

Cancer-causing substances

WHO insists that 'all forms of tobacco are harmful and there is no safe level of tobacco exposure. "Second-hand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, 70 of which can cause cancer," says Angela Ciobanu, technical officer for tobacco control at the WHO European Office. "For non-smokers, second-hand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent."

Tobacco smoke also damages the health of our hearts. "Exposure to secondhand smoke for less than an hour can damage the lining of the heart's arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack," she adds.

Infant mortality

Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

The United Nations Health Organization estimates that 65,000 children die each year from exposure to second-hand smoke, i.e. passive smoking. Children exposed to someone else's tobacco smoke are also at increased risk of ear infections, which can potentially lead to hearing loss and deafness. The risk is 50 to 100 percent higher, with an increased risk of asthma symptoms and sudden death.'

Ban on smoking

The WHO also argues that there is strong support for smoking bans among smokers and non-smokers. "A completely smoke-free environment is the only effective way to protect the health of non-smokers," says Siobano.

"Don't allow anyone to smoke near you or your children," Siobano insists. Clean air is a basic human right. However, reducing tobacco use is not easy.

An analysis by Grandview Research estimates that the industry will be worth $850 billion in 2021. This is almost twice the economic output, or GDP, of Africa's most populous country, Nigeria. The World Bank estimates that Nigeria's economy was worth $430 billion in 2020.

According to Grandview Research, the growing demand for tobacco is being sustained by 'growing numbers of smokers in developing regions of Asia and Africa.' Large companies with resources often flout health regulations and sometimes succeed in getting smoking bans passed.

A long struggle

Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

Euro Eltibaifa was among a group of Kyrgyz parliamentarians who joined lobbying groups in 2018 to pass a bill banning smoking in public places. He argued that tobacco is causing 6,000 deaths every year in the country and that stopping smoking can reduce tobacco consumption by ten percent. However, he faced a very harsh reaction.

'Foul and personal attacks'

Libya recalls the incident, saying that 'due to the affiliation of some members of parliament to the tobacco industry, the proposal was referred to a select committee, which was intended to delay the amendment.

Officials of the Ministry of Economic Affairs had also expressed concern about the reduction in tax revenue. They said that this opposition was made in a very personal and dirty manner. He said that some people attacked me and my family on social media. However, he fought tirelessly and in 2021, the law banning smoking in public places came into effect.

Alibaba's work is still a long way from success. She is conducting awareness campaigns and building support against tobacco use among various communities. She says, "A 2013 survey found that smoking among men is slowly declining, but the rate of smoking among women is increasing." She believes that many smokers Women tend to hide this habit, so they want to prevent young women from getting addicted.

Slow progress

Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

Global efforts to help reduce tobacco-related deaths took the form of the 2005 Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. So far 182 countries have signed this framework. Anti-tobacco campaign groups say some countries need to go further than banning public smoking and implement other recommendations in the convention.

"Smoking-free policy is about respecting people's right to clean air," says Sydney-based Dr. Mary Asanta, director of global research and advocacy for the Global Center for Good Governance in Tobacco Control, a non-governmental organization is a head of "To see (the effects of bans) on reducing mortality, the policy should be part of comprehensive tobacco control policies, including higher taxes, prominent pictorial warnings on tobacco packs, tobacco advertising, and promotion," she says. Prohibition and public education should be part of it.'

Although the number of smokers worldwide is slowly decreasing, it still stands at 1.3 billion. "One in every 10 cigarettes smoked comes from the illegal, unregulated tobacco trade," says the WHO. Asante also calls for more vigilance. They have seen several cases where tobacco products are being advertised in apps and games popular with children.

Asante says: 'It is so cruel for the industry to sell a product that kills half of its consumers prematurely that it is inconceivable that that product is responsible for the deaths of non-smokers. "The tobacco industry must make amends for the harm it has caused and continues to cause."

'No grudge against late husband'

Should non-smokers be concerned about cigarette smoke? Health-Teachers

Let's go back to Hyderabad (India) where Nalini's story started. Don't think about the legal route. They continue to breathe through their throat. She can only eat bland food but has learned to live a very independent life. She calls herself a cancer survivor. As if to prove his point, he has learned to play the shehnai. Nalini has an MPhil in Botany and is fond of gardening.

Nalini's day is usually spent helping her two grandsons with their studies. Janani, who aspires to be a veterinary surgeon, often visits him to study science subjects. "I am very proud of them," says a beaming Janani. He is an inspirational figure for all. She is the same cheerful grandmother.

Nalani visits schools, universities, community gatherings, and many other places to educate people about the harms and dangers of passive smoking through her story. Despite the pain she had to go through after losing her voice, Nalini holds no grudges against her late husband.

She says that I have never felt angry with my husband. It's no use crying about it. This will not solve the problem. I accepted the truth and never felt ashamed to talk about my illness.'

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