Public smoking has been declared an environmental and health hazard on both smokers and non smokers by health practitioners in Rivers state.
In May 2017, a research by World Health Organization(WHO) stated that Tobacco kills up to half of it’s users. The research says it kills over 7 million people each year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct Tobacco use while around 890,000 are the result of non smokers being exposed to second hand smoke.
A cardiologist, Dr. Machael Nyemenim in an interview listed some of the health defects of tobacco smoking and inhaling from a user.
“Tobacco smoking has predominant negative effects on human health.
It contains so many chemicals that cause lung cancer, that is why the lungs of a smoker is dark as a result of the accumulation of smoke into the system.
Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and liver. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis), and several cancers (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, bladder cancer, and pancreatic cancer).
“It also causes peripheral arterial disease and high blood pressure. The effects depend on the number of years that a person smokes and on how much the person smokes. Starting smoking of cigarettes earlier in life and smoking cigarettes higher in tar increases the risk of these diseases.
“Also, environmental tobacco smoke, or secondhand smoke, has been shown to cause adverse health effects in people of all ages.
” Tobacco use is a significant factor in miscarriages among pregnant smokers, and it contributes to a number of other health problems of the fetus such as premature birth, low birth weight, and increases by 1.4 to 3 times the chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Incidence of erectile dysfunction is approximately 85 percent higher in male smokers compared to non-smokers.
Dr. Michael Nyemenim also called on the state government to enact laws that would ban public smoking and stop environmental and health hazards in Rivers state.