This is interesting, coming from a group of people who think that cancer causing radiation is a viable way of treating cancer…
While I find smoking to be a disgusting habit that I have personally seen ruin many lives, I wonder what other behaviors will be linked with “The Terrorists”?
How about consuming raw dairy products or homekilled meat? Are you also with “The Terrorists” for doing these things? Alcohol. Sugar. TV. Video games. What else?
For me, whether you want to smoke old shoe laces, worship a head of lettuce or run around your garden naked howling at the moon, I believe that it, Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do.
Speaking of business…
Interestingly, the New Zealand Treasury found that smoking saves the government money because smokers tend to die sooner than non-smokers, and the high taxes that they pay on tobacco products more than covers the medical costs associated with the habit. (I want to weep, however, when I see the dole recipients in town smoking in their minivans full of kids with the windows mostly rolled up. And that’s before I see what these people are buying at the super market…)
Now, there’s an entire genre of woowoo about homegrown tobacco supposedly being much less deadly than industrial tobacco because it doesn’t contain the additives that are present in industrial tobacco. (I’m sure someone is going to blow smoke in the comments about this.) It turns out that homegrown tobacco is, “Not even marginally less harmful,” than the commercial tobacco.
It is described as the biggest public health disaster in the history of the world, with its perpetrators linked to terrorists. Smoking will kill up to a billion people worldwide this century, unless governments across the world stamp down on the half-trillion-dollar tobacco industry.
These are the words of John Seffrin, chief executive of the American Cancer Society, who was speaking this weekend at a high-level forum of the world’s 100 leading cancer experts gathered in the Swiss resort of Lugano, who issued a stark warning to governments worldwide. They said governments must do far more than they have done to control the global tobacco industry, either by raising cigarette prices dramatically, outlawing tobacco marketing or by taxing the multinational profits of the big cigarette firms.
Smoking kills more than half of all smokers, mostly from cancer, and yet despite it being the single biggest avoidable risk of premature death, there are about 30 million new smokers a year, scientists have calculated.
If current trends continue, with cigarette companies targeting the non-smoking populations of the developing world, then hundreds of millions of people will be dying of cancer in the second half of this century, they said.
Some of the experts attending the World Oncology Forum went further by calling for an outright ban on cigarettes and for the tobacco industry to be treated as a terrorist movement for the way it targets new markets with a product that it knows to be deadly when used as intended.
“We have a major global industry producing a product that is lethal to at least half the people who use it. It will kill, if current trends continue, a billion people this century,” said Dr Seffrin, who leads the US national society dedicated to eliminating cancer.
“It killed 100 million in the last century and we thought that was outrageous, but this will be the biggest public health disaster in the history of the world, bar none. It all could be avoided if we could prevent the terroristic tactics of the tobacco industry in marketing its products to children,” Dr Seffrin told The Independent.
“There is a purposeful intent to market a product that they know full well will harm their customers and over time will kill more than half of them. The industry needs to be reined in and regulated,” he said.
The science showing that tobacco is the single biggest cause of cancer is now well established, following the publication of the earliest evidence in the 1950s by the late Sir Richard Doll, the Oxford epidemiologist who was born 100 years ago yesterday.
Worldwide, tobacco causes about 22 per cent of cancer deaths each year, killing some 1.7 million people, with almost 1 million of them dying from lung cancer. Yet the numbers of new smokers among the young is rising faster than the numbers giving up.
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