Letters to the Editor: Don’t smoke – it kills

“Smoking Kills – Stay Away” was the
theme for the 10th anniversary of Poison Prevention Day on the Sister Islands.
This year, as a pharmacist and Poison Prevention Coordinator, I visited all
schools in the Sister Islands to explain that tobacco smoke can slowly kill not
only adults and pets, but also unborn children. These deaths can be prevented
if people stay away from smoke.

Tobacco smoke contains more than
4,000 chemicals, of which about 200 are poisonous and carcinogenic. These
include: nicotine, arsenic, tar, carbon monoxide, pyridine, benzene, formaldehyde,
and hydrogen cyanide.

The list of diseases and medical
conditions caused or worsened by tobacco smoke is too long to mention in this
letter, but allergies, asthma, bronchitis, bad breath, cancer of the lung,
throat, lips and brain, heart attacks, poor performance in sports and school,
addiction, low birth weight, pneumonia, sudden infant death, high blood
pressure, and strokes, are some of the things that can be avoided if an environment
is smoke free.

Smoking also steals your money –
cigarettes are thieves that travel in packs. A pack of cigarettes on the Brac
costs about $7. A person who smokes a pack a day would have spent approximately
$2,555 per year and $25,550 in ten years. This is the price of a piece of land,
a new car, fees towards a college degree, or food for the family.

Children were surprised to learn
about the numerous poisons in tobacco and the health and financial burdens that
smoking brings on the family. They choose money, education, and food over
cigarettes.

Thank you for not smoking,

Dhallchand Seeram

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