Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Do something!!!

I finished my youth service a few years ago and it has been difficult getting a job. Out of frustration and tiredness of staying at home, I took up a job as a bar attendant at a local hotel. However, since I started work, it’s been hell for me as I end up inhaling cigarette smoke every day since customers are permitted to smoke indoors. Well, I have always done my best to ignore it and say nothing about it because I work at night and I am there alone with just one other person.

It has gotten to the point now, that the employees that work the shift before I do smoke right before I get there. I have frequent migraines and sinus issues from all of the residue that has been left behind from them smoking and often times some residual smoke from them smoking.

There is a window right in that section and I have asked them repeatedly to please not smoke an hour before I am going to get there and to please leave the window open when they do smoke and to open the window up and air out the corner before I get there. Seems like a simple enough request but they simply will not do it.

Now I am experiencing numerous health consequences of breathing second hand smoke, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, increased asthma, bronchitis, larengal-pharengeal reflux and reactive airway. Not to mention the fact that the place just plain reeks! I am outraged that by virtue of earning a living I am forced to breath "class A" carcinogenic air. I have pleaded with the corporate office, provided them overwhelming evidence that my work environment is not safe and they have turned a blind eye. Leaving this job will mean me going back to being broke, bored and frustrated, I do hope that I get something else real fast.

Andy's (not his real name) story above is a picture of what the workplace can be like Abuja where he is based. As deploring as his story may be, the more shocking fact is that this is a preventable cause. Things do not have to get to a dilapidated stage before we do something about it. I therefore appeal to the general public to join in this campaign to ban smoking in Nigeria. With the Lagos State government recently passing a no-smoking in public places law, it is time for the rest of the states to follow suit. 

Together we can make impact in our generation and save more lives, All you need do is to PARTICIPATE in the TC RADIO CAMPAIGN and INVITE your FRIENDS & FAMILY to do the same as we all join hands in stopping this dilemma before it's too late. To subscribe: Text (TC Name Email Location Message) to 39405 as together we can make the change we desire. You will be shocked how many lives you can save just from this singular act.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Don't wait

I grew up in a house of three kids and two smoking parents (chain smokers if I say so). My father smoked two packs a day and my mother smoked one pack a day. I am currently 39 years old and my mother recently passed away at 67 after a long battle with breast cancer, I am yet to recover from this massive loss. She also had thyroid cancer. 

There had been absolutely NO history of breast cancer on her side of the family until she contracted the disease in her fifties, had surgery and chemo, went into remission, and then was rediagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in her liver. My sister, at age 37, was diagnosed with breast cancer the October before my mother's recurrence. She became metastatic within a year and is now 41 years old with three children. 

As a result, I have had a preventative double mastectomy and I believe all of this loss in my immediate family is due to smoking exposure. There is some history on my father's side, however, it does not explain my mother's aggressive disease and premature death. 

As it stands, I will go through the horrific events cancer brings again (this time with my sister) and will be the only female left in my immediate family. My father, at age 75, and my brother, at age 36, and myself will be left without two fabulous women in our lives. I believe smoking and the tobacco industry either created the cancer outright or aggravated a gene in our family as research has suggested.

Without tobacco, my family would have much more time with my sister and my mother. My children would have gotten to know their grandmother better and wouldn't cry and wouldn't have to talk about missing her. I wouldn't have to worry about my sister's kids and neither would she. Please help stop the tobacco industry from destroying families.

More than 8 million lives has been saved since the anti-smoking campaign started in 1964 in US, not counting the effect it has had in other countries; now this is a huge number, although the number of smokers recorded nationwide especially in Bangladesh, Russia, Indonesia and China rose to 1billion, it could have been double this number if the anti-smoking campaign dint take place. 

In as much as these figures are encouraging, it is also not the time to relax and fold our hands, more work needs to be done to ensure that more lives are saved. We therefore need your contribution towards ensuring that the increasing rate of death caused by this preventable cause is brought to a halt.

All you need do is to PARTICIPATE in the TC RADIO CAMPAIGN and INVITE your FRIENDS & FAMILY to do the same as we all join hands in stopping this dilemma before it's too late. To subscribe: Text (TC Name Email Location Message) to 39405 as together we can make the change we desire.

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· For more facts and Tobacco Control tips visit

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PARTICIPATE: Tobacco Control Radio Campaign

Until late in the 20th century, tobacco companies consistently denied any link of their products with cancer or cancer-enhancing tendencies. However, today, the harmful effect of tobacco on smokers and non-smokers alike is well-known with detailed documentation on the impact of secondhand smoke since the 1980's.

Into these category of non-smokers falls a group of people who need SOMEONE to speak for them - CHILDREN as statistics say secondhand smoke causes about 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and tens of thousands of deaths from heart disease to nonsmoking adults in Nigeria each year.

Millions of children are breathing in secondhand smoke almost daily in the one place they should be safe - their homes. The reason for these is adults & in some cases underaged smokers who puff away not heeding the harm being done to our nation's future leaders. Secondhand smoke can be especially harmful to your children's health because their lungs still are developing. If you and anyone who know & permit smokes around your children, they are exposed to secondhand smoke and may be in more danger than you realize. Children whose parents smoke only outside are still exposed to the chemicals in secondhand smoke.

Below is a true life story of the effect secondhand smoke can have on a child;

My ex-husband and I divorced when our son was 1 year old. At that time, smoking was not allowed in our home and my son's health was fine. Once we divorced, his father resumed smoking and that's when the trouble with my son's ears started. My son is 3 years old now and on his second set of ear tubes and has had his annoides removed. My son gets sick whenever he goes to his dad's- he always comes back with ear infections. (Besides his dad who smokes, there are also 3 other people living in the home who smoke too) My son has mild hearing loss in the left ear. I know it is the smoking. The solid proof that proved it, was this past October. Oct. 23 my son had a hearing test and the tubes were open and clear, then on November 2nd he went to his dad's for a week. On Nov. 13 was his next hearing test and it came back saying that both ears were flat and his next test said he had fluid in his ears again.

Because young children can't choose to leave a smoke-filled environment, this constant exposure makes them especially vulnerable to the health risks of secondhand smoke. Infants and children who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased chance of developing the following conditions:
  • Frequent colds and respiratory infections (including bronchitis and pneumonia)
  • May experience slow or incomplete lung growth and development
  • Asthma and chronic coughs
  • Chronic and/or recurrent ear infections
  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • High blood pressure
  • Learning and behavior problems, including inattention and aggression.
  • Cataracts
  • Poor dental health
  • Increased likelihood that the children themselves will become smokers
As adults today, it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure a smoke-free environment is a LEGACY we bequeath to our children. This is why we ask YOU to participate in the TC RADIO CAMPAIGN and INVITE your FRIENDS & FAMILY to do the same as we all join hands in stopping this dilemma before it's too late. To subscribe: Text (TC Name Email Location Message) to 39405 as together we can make the change we desire.

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· For more facts and Tobacco Control tips visit

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

No More!

On 26 December 2003 my dad passed away due to a 13 year battle with COPD/Emphysema. My dad had smoked since he had been a young boy, but quit immediately when he was diagnosed with COPD. Unfortunately it was too late and his lungs were already damaged. I grew up breathing in secondhand smoke, but at the time, there was not information out discussing the dangers of secondhand smoke.

I am in my mid 40's. Everyone smoked either cigarettes, cigars or pipes when I was young. My dad smoked pipes and cigars all day long, inside and outdoors. One was burning all the time even when he wasn't puffing on it. Our house smelled like smoke - and our car smelled like smoke. People's clothes smelled like smoke - even the ones who didn't smoke smelled like smoke. People smoked at work and in restaurants and in the waiting rooms of almost everywhere. So it was normal to smell smoke. We thought nothing of it. I even sang along with them on this popular song:


And it still didn't dawn on us what we were doing. Smoking was thought to be glamorous for women and masculine for men because of the movies and the advertising. All my older siblings smoked. 

What happened to everyone? My mother died of lung cancer (though she never smoked anything but due to the inhaling of cigarette from everyone’s smoking.) My brother died of a heart attack. My sister died of lung disease. My last sister has emphysema & is on oxygen but wasting away - now weighs 65 pounds.

I would have to say smoking leads to nothing constructive for anyone except for a pain relief puff on a marajuana when dying of cancer. My dying sister told me the other day that smoking is the worst possible addiction anyone could imagine. She says you are hooked almost instantly and no rational discussion could make you quit. She only quit when she couldn't breathe. But she said she knows of lots of people who can't even quit when the doctor puts them on oxygen.

There is no rational reason to allow smoking where anyone other than smokers will breathe that smoke. It is horrible. I have been with 2 of my relatives as they have died of lung disease and it is a miserable way to go.

I implore you to participate and subscribe to Tobaccoctrl SMS platform and also participate actively in the radio campaign, don’t forget to invite your friends and family. To subscribe;
Text (TC Name Email Location Message) to 39405. Together we can make the change we desire.
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