Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Smoking is not Cool

It’s been decades since cigarette advertisements have been banned on all forms of media due to the health implications that smokers encountered from their habit. Children of the 21st century have in fact never seen a cigarette being advertised, but yet somehow in some parts of the world, it is still considered somewhat cool to light up.

You are most vulnerable, fragile and gullible while you’re in your youth, and in most cases youth in their teenage, formative years tend to experiment with drugs. Cigarettes are easily accessible, not illegal and highly addictive thus most youths find themselves smoking their lungs to oblivion from a tender age.

However the University of Botswana conducted a reasearch which revealed that 9 out of 10 teenagers in Botswana do not smoke. These findings led to the #MostTeens campaign which took the city of Gaborone by storm, in a way, “Celebrating the positive social choices of Botswana’s teenagers.” Many teenagers have shown their support through the popular various social media platforms, proudly proclaiming the fact they are part of the”Most teens don’t smoke” movement.

In a press release from the University of Botswana’s School of Public Health it is stated that, “The primary findings of the research reveal that although only 10.8% of respondents are current smokers, the majority of adolescents (61%) believe that most people their age smoke. In addition, 64% believe that people their age feel pressure to try smoking cigarettes, thus bringing to light a flawed perception around the prevalence, or lack there-of, of smoking amongst Botswana’s youth. “

If one were to compile the risks, effects and dangers of smoking it could probably be as long as the road from Cape to Cairo. It actually increases ones risk of developing more than 50 serious health conditions. Some may be fatal and others can cause irreversible long-term damage to your health, these conditions arise whether you are a firsthand smoker or a passive one (inhaling second hand smoking). There is not a single body part that one can think of that is not affected by smoking and it can ultimately cause cancers in the mouth, lips, throat, voice box (larynx), oesophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach), bladder, kidney, liver, stomach and the pancreas.

Other than cancer, smoking damages your heart and your blood circulation, increasing your risk of developing conditions such as; coronary heart disease, a heart attack, a stroke, peripheral vascular disease (damaged blood vessels) and cerebrovascular disease (damaged arteries that supply blood to your brain) as well as emphysema and pneumonia. All these ailments are fatal.

It would probably be a wonder if cigarettes did not kill because it is composed of over 600 ingredients including ; Acetone ÔÇô found in nail polish remover, Acetic Acid ÔÇô an ingredient in hair dye, Ammonia ÔÇô a common household cleaner, Arsenic ÔÇô used in rat poison, Benzene ÔÇô found in rubber cement, Butane ÔÇô used in lighter fluid, Cadmium ÔÇô active component in battery acid, Carbon Monoxide ÔÇô released in car exhaust fumes, Formaldehyde ÔÇô embalming fluid, Hexamine ÔÇô found in barbecue lighter fluid, Lead ÔÇô used in batteries, Naphthalene ÔÇô an ingredient in moth balls, Methanol ÔÇô a main component in rocket fuel, Nicotine ÔÇô used as insecticide, Tar ÔÇô material for paving roads and Toluene – used to manufacture paint.

Now imagine lighting this concoction up and inhaling it through your mouth down your throat to your lungs and into the blood stream.

The Most Teens Campaign was led by Dr. Bontle Mbongwe of the University of Botswana’s School of Public Health, with co-investigators: Professor N. Phaladze (School of Nursing), Roy Tapera (School of Public Health), and Andrew Lord (Good Business, London).

Said Dr. Mbongwe,”The data provides positive insights on what was previously thought regarding youths smoking status in Botswana. For example, about 15% of the students had tried smoking just once and this gives hope that with more positive campaigns, teenagers may be encouraged not to initiate smoking.

Smoking is not cool it will blacken your lips, discolour your teeth and leave you with a stench as if that is not enough it will shorten your life, join Most Teen in Botswana and don’t smoke.


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