This Cuban on “World No Tobacco Day”

Dariela Aquique


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.

3 thoughts on “This Cuban on “World No Tobacco Day”

  • I totally agree on this .
    But the government must actively work to eliminate smoking especially since the government/society as a whole must pay for the failing health of all Cuban smokers .
    Preventative health care MUST be an essential part if any national health care system because it is what is best for the people.

  • Plain tobacco packaging can be a very effective way to reduce the number of smokers and save many lives.

    How bad that the Cuban government is legally challenging this proposal around
    the world just because it means that cuban companies will make less money.

  • The latest statistics and medical research studies have pancreatic cancer now in second place as a fatal cancer after lung cancer.
    Both cancers have cigarette smoking as the main cause with pancreatic cancer also brought on by obesity and some 35% of people in the U.S. are obese and not just overweight.
    I recall reading that cigarette manufacturers use some 38 different substances to make cigarettes burn and taste a certain way and I do not it is possible for the cigarette companies to have tested that great a number of combinations by burning them and testing the accumulative effects on the human body.
    One can only imagine the witch’s brew that is created by burning all those things in varying combinations .
    Sure , sugar which is used to cure tobacco is fine to eat and digest but breathing in the smoke from burning it is a whole different matter .
    Cigarette smoking is more addictive than is heroin addiction if only because it is legal, slightly less socially unacceptable and readily available .
    It’s all about money. If cigarettes were just invented, the FDA, OSHA or other watchdog agency would never allow it on to the market but since cigarettes were popular long before the health effects became known, the industry used lies , deception, spent billions on ads and most of all buying Congressmen to keep cigarettes on the market.

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