Saturday, June 02, 2007

Holy Smokes

My father was a smoker. My mom did not allow him to smoke in our home or near us. When I understood that what my father was doing was wrong, I refused to buy him cigarettes. I once took a box of his smoke and broke each one of them.

I tried smoking once - I was angry with my parents. It was horrible and I decided that even if I was that angry with them, smoking just was not worth it.

Since then, I have done all that I can to discourage smoking. I was the kid who reported smokers to the Principal, I joined TADA (Teenagers Against Drug Abuse). I spoke in various churches, youth groups and schools about the dangers of cigarettes and alcohol. (I have always felt that the acceptable drugs are more dangerous than the illegal drugs). When I was in the States I jumped at the opportunity to become a qualified Breathe-Free facilitator.

My "proudest" accomplishment was talking in the Newland's East Roman Catholic Church (Durban). She went cold turkey and has never relapsed. Every year she tells my mother how tankful she is for the message that I gave.
My "sadest" moment was realising that I could not help my sister.

My sister has now been smoke -free for two years. Its been a long battle for her and she is winning.

Surprisingly my father died of liver cancer ( he did not drink).

Hookah pipes not so safe May 30, 2007 - 6:28AM

Water-pipe smoking may pose the same health risks as cigarettes, the World Health Organisation said today, adding that more scientific research was needed into the link between hookah use and a number of fatal illnesses.

"Using a water pipe to smoke tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking," the UN health agency said in a seven-page document on the practice.

Safer' Smoking Method Even Worse Than Cigarettes? Written by Doug Ware -

“A 40 minute session on a hookah produces the same amount of carbon dioxide a person would get from smoking five packs of cigarettes, which is incredible.”

In 2005, the World Health Organization even issued an advisory on the use of Hookah warning of its potentially harmful effects.

Some studies have even shown that after Hookah smoke has passed through water, it still contains high levels of carbon dioxide, heavy metals and cancer-causing chemicals – especially if charcoal is used to heat the tobacco.

Another risk to consider: Communicable diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis and herpes, passed from person to person through the common use of the Hookah’s mouthpiece.

Why go smoke-free? According to WHO


  • Second-hand tobacco smoke kills and causes serious illnesses.
  • 100% smoke-free environments fully protect workers and the public from the serious harmful effects of tobacco smoke.
  • The right to clean air, free from tobacco smoke, is a human right.
  • Most people in the world are non-smokers and have a right not to be exposed to other people's smoke.
  • Surveys show that smoking bans are widely supported by both smokers and non-smokers.
  • Smoke-free environments are good for business, as families with children, most non-smokers and even smokers often prefer to go to smoke-free places.
  • Smoke-free environments provide the many smokers who want to quit with a strong incentive to cut down or stop smoking altogether.
  • Smoke-free environments help prevent people – especially the young – from starting to smoke.
  • Smoke-free environments cost little and they work!
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