No Smoking Day: A decision in favor of health

According to the Pan American Health Organization, tobacco causes eight million deaths each year.


Courtesy | Many expressed that once they quit it does not cause them to smoke again

International No Smoking Day is celebrated every May 31 with the aim of raising awareness in society about the risks associated with tobacco.

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), tobacco causes eight million deaths each year.

In the campaign for World No Tobacco Day this year, PAHO highlighted that smokers are more likely to develop COVID-19 severely.

According to PAHO, the benefits of quitting smoking are “practically immediate,” among which a decrease in heart rate stands out.

“Within the next 12 hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood drops to normal values. Between 2 and 12 weeks, circulation improves and lung function increases, ”they added.

Between one and nine months, quitting smoking can result in decreased coughing and shortness of breath. They also lower the risks of suffering from coronary heart disease, stroke and lung cancer, the WHO explained on its website.

From the organization they have created a campaign to help people quit smoking.

They quit smoking

Since PRIMICIA We collected three testimonies from people who have been smokers since their teens and recently managed to quit.

Manuel Díaz said that he started smoking at age 14 and stopped smoking at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, at age 70.

“I stopped smoking because of my respiratory distress and my chronic sinusitis problem, which made me a potential covid-19 patient,” he admitted. Despite not having noticed any change in his health, he confessed that he does not want to smoke again.

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“My motivation is to show myself that I can keep my decision, even when in moments of anxiety it causes me to smoke,” he said.

For José Rodríguez, smoking was never a vice, although he kept doing it from the age of 13 to 21. “I quit smoking for no apparent reason, then went back to smoking at 35 and quit smoking last year,” he said.

The 38-year-old citizen indicated that smoking was always “to quit and resume by choice.”

He agreed that they have not noticed any changes in his health, but stated that he has no reason to resume smoking today.

For his part, Douglas Díaz started smoking at age 14 and stopped on January 3 of this year. “By my own decision about my health,” he added.

He stressed that after quitting the cigarette he has managed to improve his breathing and work capacity. Díaz said that his motivation for not smoking again is physical health and the current state that he has achieved after almost five months.

Risks for children

Pulmonologist Olimarys Bastardo explained how second-hand smokers can affect children’s health.

The specialist said that the effect of cigarette smoke in children begins from the prenatal stage, from before they are born.

He indicated that the effects of having mothers who smoke are associated with having low birth weight, experiencing greater complications in pregnancy such as hemorrhages or placenta previa.

Bastardo commented that newborns of smoking mothers can have low lung function that can last even into adulthood.

“Once the baby is born, there is an associated risk where infants who are passive smokers or children of smoking parents have three times the risk of dying than those whose mothers are not smokers,” he added.

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Bastardo pointed out that children who are passive smokers suffer 70% more from diseases of the upper respiratory tract, especially viral, such as bronchiolitis.

Passive smoking children can also develop respiratory tract infections in the ENT field.

“They have more otitis, tonsillitis, they have a higher frequency of tumor processes, both in children under five years of age and in adulthood,” he said.

The specialist stated that the effects of smoking in children are also associated with nonspecific respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose.

The pulmonologist highlighted that one of the most important associations is that the frequency of asthma is higher among the children of smoking parents than in the children of non-smokers.

Bastardo revealed that there is a controversy about whether asthma is an etiological factor, that is, if passive smoker is the cause of asthma or is an asthmatic patient.

The fact of being a smoker can cause you to have poor control of the disease and it will be a trigger for asthma attacks, the specialist mentioned.

“The awareness of the population is very important because the adult decides to smoke, the child cannot decide and it will cause very important consequences throughout his life,” he said.

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