HAVANA TIMES – Today, May 31, is the date declared by the United Nations as World No Tobacco Day, and I think this deserves a comment. It will be a kind of testimony from my own experience, to encourage all smokers to give up the pernicious vice.
In medicine, smoking = nicotine and is defined as chronic poisoning caused by the excessive consumption of tobacco; which we all should know brings with it serious respiratory diseases and several types of cancer, especially the lung variety.
The World Health Organization makes many recommendations, such as raising the price on smokes and putting texts and images on packaging that show the evil caused by cigarettes. If successful, however, industries that make their profits at the expense of the health of their victims will see a drop in business.
We know that in many countries smoking is strictly prohibited in most public places, which I totally agree with, especially to protect passive smokers. In Cuba such a law exists but is irregularly enforced.
I smoked from the age of 16 to almost 43, meaning that during 27 of the 44 years I’m about to celebrate, I was enveloped in a cloud of smoke.
The amount of nicotine and tar that I put in my body will take me a few decades to detox from. I don’t want to sound pathetic, but maybe the rest of my life won’t be enough time to do so. Meanwhile I’m suffering the consequences that this bad habit left me.
Just over a year ago, I decided to quit. Health was giving me clear signals and I had to answer that responsibly. Since then, I have to confess that I feel much better. I breathe easier and have more stamina when doing any physical exercise. And some ailments or conditions such as digestive problems have disappeared.
Therefore my friends, say no to tobacco. The message comes from this ex-smoker now in the middle of another battle to overcome, obesity, because after quitting smoking several extra kilos appeared and with them other ills.
But I promise I will do my best. At any time I may be writing about that struggle.