The Problem of Smoking
Smoking is the shortest way to bad health. Today half of the men and a quarter of the women in the world smoke. Some people think that there is not much sense in refraining from smoking, since the inhabitants of many cities and even villages breathe air contaminated with industrial and automobile wastes. They are very wrong. Vehicle exhaust gases are harmful in themselves, but a smoking driver is subject to something far more dangerous.
Take another example: according to the WHO (World Health Organisation) figures, the risk rate is higher among smoking workers of the heavy engineering, chemical, ceramic, mining, building, cement and rubber industries.
The harm of tobacco smoke for women should be especially emphasized. In particular, smoking may affect the course of pregnancy. Smoking women may bring into the world crippled or abnormal children.
The evidence that exposure to other people’s smoke is dangerous to health is now incontrovertible. The exposure to passive smoking is a serious health risk to non-smokers, increasing their chance of contracting lung cancer and heart disease. The degree of risk depends on the extent and duration of exposure. Particularly there is a high risk among workers in the hospitality industries (bar staff, casino workers and other employees in workplaces where smoking is routine). It is estimated that passive smoking causes one premature death a week.
In the past few years some measures have been taken to reduce smoking. There has been a growing awareness of the dangers of smoking throughout the world. The anti-smoking campaigns launched in a number of countries have brought about extensive public censure of this harmful habit and a decrease in the number of smokers among some groups of the population.
In our country the campaign to beat the cigarette habit has acquired a purposeful nature. Special legislative, medical and educational measures are being worked out. Instructions forbid smoking among schoolchildren. Lessons on the harm of smoking have been included in courses of the anatomy, physiology and hygiene, the sale of cigarettes to minors is prohibited. Warnings against the harm of smoking are printed on packets of cigarette brands.
The ministries of railways, civil aviation, merchant marine and culture have worked out and now implement measures for regulating, limiting and restricting smoking in long-distance and suburban trains, planes, on sea vessels, in theatres, clubs, etc.