'Tobacco-Related Illnesses on the Rise'
An Owerri- based medical consultant, Dr. Noel U. Onyewuotu, says tobacco-related diseases are on the increase in Nigeria, despite attempts to reduce its usage. Dr. Onyewuotu's alarm was the focal point of a paper titled "the health consequences of cigaret
According to him, the habit of smoking has led a good percentage of the cigarette smokers into smoking marijuana, carnabis and other hard drugs like heroine and cocaine. "The serious dangers which cigarette and other tobacco component constitute to individual and society at large, has resulted into more serious efforts towards promulgating laws to ban its advertisement and if possible, prohibit its use. In whatever form tobacco is taken in, the dangers and consequences cannot be over emphasized," Onyewuotu said.
According to the medical consultant, "smoking is hazardous to the body system", adding that "beginning from the hair to the toe, it has numerous complications".
"The complication can be grouped under two major disease conditions namely, neoplastic condition (cancer) and cardiovascular diseases", he said. While saying that there are many disease conditions caused by cigarette smoking, Onyewuotu also disclosed that "the chest of a smoker always has a reduced air entry". He also disclosed that many smokers develop alveola rupture, even as he identified chronic bronchitis as "a common factor in smokers which causes emphysema, more than any other known disease".
Addressing journalists after the workshop, the Executive Director of People Against Drug Dependence and Ignorance (PADDI), Mr. Eze Eluchie, lamented that "previously in this country, we have deluded ourselves by focusing on hard drugs, substances that the average Nigerian never gets to see, whilst neglecting the root cause of this social vice, a seemingly ordinary, commonly available and generally more deadly product, the cigarette". He said that the lack of focus on cigarettes over the years has not been perchance, explaining that "it has been the result of deliberate, tactful, deceitful and at times, brazenly criminal distortions and manipulations of varying societal factors by multinational tobacco companies"