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Quit smoking and stop paying for your demise

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, reader raises awareness against smoking

Image Credit: Sneha Krishna Murthi
Cigarette butts are seen, discarded in a residential area in Abu Dhabi.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi

The sight of cigarette butts, which I came across when I was walking down to the grocery at around 5pm in my residential area, has struck me too hard (as seen in photograph). I wish people would show some courtesy and refrain from smoking cigarettes in public.

Thus, to make a small difference, I initiated the ‘No Tobacco Campaign’ on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day yesterday, on May 31. I’m proud to state that I have so far made three men in my family reduce smoking. ‘Reduce by one cigarette every week’ was the initial motto of the campaign, and I am still looking forward to much better results.

It is essential that people understand the ill effects of smoking and quit the habit as soon as possible. It is not a pleasant sight to notice men and women smoke cigarettes and release the smoke for passersby to breathe in. They don’t understand how it affects the non-smokers as well as themselves in the years to follow. Every time I see cigarette butts on the floor, it reminds me of a relative that smokes and may lose his life soon.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally about 40 per cent of men smoke as compared with nearly nine per cent of women. I don’t know why these people don’t understand that if they smoke they are surely going to die earlier than they should, leaving their family and children behind, perhaps even struggling to survive on this planet.

I hope that after reading this report, people might try reducing the habit by at least one cigarette every week and finally quit smoking and even encourage their neighbours, family and friends to follow suit. Additionally, the authorities could also take measures to make people reduce the habit of smoking slowly.

— The reader is a pupil based in Abu Dhabi.

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According to a Gulf News report published on March 24, 2015, motorists and beach-goers who throw their cigarette butts on roads and public beaches will be slapped with a Dh500 fine. Additionally, motorists who smoke in a car with a child inside will be fined Dh500, as stated in the anti-tobacco federal law. Smoking is also regulated in shopping malls, restaurants and amusement centres.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco kills around 6 million people each year. More than 5 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.

The WHO also states that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.