LAHORE: Tobacco is incredibly harmful and there is no ‘safe way’ to smoke, stated Ameeruddin Medical College Professor and Lahore General Hospital Principal Dr Ghiasuddin Tayyab. “Replacing cigarettes with cigars, pipes or hookahs will not avoid the risk associated with tobacco products.”
The professor offered this advice while speaking at a seminar on quitting smoking at the LGH. “More than 70% of the people begin smoking with their friends and do so to be fashionable,” he said. Dr Tayyab added Pakistan, India and Turkey are some of the countries that have alarmingly high numbers of smokers.
He further said there were increased problems in underdeveloped countries such as Pakistan, where 55% of the households have taken up the deadly habit of smoking.
“Horrifying data also shows that more than 90% of smokers are less than 22 years old in Pakistan,” he commented.
He said cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients. “When they burn, they generate more than 7,000 chemicals. Many of those are poisonous and at least 69 can cause cancer,” he commented.
During the seminar, the professor spoke about hepatitis which is a big challenge for the Punjab Health department. He added the Punjab Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme needed to materialise on an immediate basis.
Dr Tayyab pointed out that used blades, unsterilised dentist equipment, repeated usage of syringes and non-tested blood transfusion multiplied the spread of hepatitis in the country. The principal stressed the prevention programme must reach far flung for free screening and registration facilities, apart from spreading awareness.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2017.