No suicide today
Published 7:17 pm Thursday, June 3, 2004
Yes, the title for this opinion piece is pretty hard, but, considering the topic, it is warranted. Every day, millions of people across the world slowly decrease their life expectancy one breath or drag at a time.
We are sure that many of you have seen the commercials on TV from the anti-tobacco organization called Truth, which works to educate the public on this product. In Atmore, ECHS's HOSA has also taken up the banner against smoking and tobacco use. Look to page three for an example of what that group is doing here in Atmore.
According to the Truth organization, every eight seconds, someone in the world dies due to tobacco use. If you break the numbers down that is 10,000 people a day that die due to a preventable cause of death. Take that number and multiply it by 31 days and you have 334,800 people who will die this month.
Escambia County High School's Health Occupations Students of America also provided the Advance with some statistics that are worth mentioning.
-Tobacco kills more Americans than AIDS, drugs, homicides, fires and auto accidents combined.
-Tobacco contains arsenic, lead, cyanide, formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.
-Smoking causes 445 new cases of lung cancer each day.
-1200 Americans die each day from tobacco use.
-Almost 90% of adult smokers began before the age of 18.
-The addiction rate for smoking is higher than the addiction rates of alcohol, marijuana or cocaine.
Sure there are other things that we as humans do each day, which are considered bad for us. How many sodas do you drink in a day or what have you eaten this week that has been fried? Have you neglected to exercise for 30 minutes three times a week? These are all things that contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle; however, these personal actions do not also contribute to the death of our loved ones and coworkers. It is believed that over 50,000 people a year will die from second-hand smoke.
The "World No Tobacco Day" is a worthwhile event to bring about more awareness of the dangers of tobacco, especially for the youth of our community. This is something that our kids are taking an initiative in and asking for us to participate. Before you light up or slide a dip in your mouth, take a minute to look around you and see who you are hurting. Remember, it won't be the same without you – or them – if next year this time you can't celebrate the holiday together.
While we don't agree that America's Memorial Day should be used as a way to push an international anti-tobacco agenda, we do support the efforts of groups like HOSA to curb tobacco use among our youth and ask for your support as well.