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Script 28.7

Notes to broadcasters

Content:  Smoking is bad for your health and the health of those around you.  It is also expensive.

Script

Do you smoke? If you do, here are some things that you should know.

Smoking increases your risk of getting diseases which can kill you. The more you smoke, the more likely you are to get cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, or lips. Smoking causes chronic bronchitis and emphysema which interfere with breathing. Smoking can also cause stomach ulcers or make them worse. And it increases your chances of dying from heart disease. Smoking also affects your sense of taste and your sense of smell.

Women who smoke while they are pregnant usually have smaller, less healthy babies.

Smoking is even dangerous for the people around you. What is called “second‑hand” smoke‑‑the smoke you do not inhale, that comes out of your cigarette or pipe‑‑gets into their lungs and damages their bodies as well as yours.

Children whose parents smoke are more likely to develop pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses than children whose parents do not smoke.

Do you need more reasons to stop smoking?

Researchers believe that, on average, every cigarette you smoke shortens your life by eight minutes. Every one. Now eight minutes may not seem like a lot on its own, but when you think of how many cigarettes you might smoke in a year…

The companies that make and sell cigarettes do not advertise the facts about smoking and disease. Instead, they try to make smoking look fashionable. The more cigarettes people buy, the more money the companies make. But people in the wealthy countries of Europe and America are gradually giving up smoking. They are learning how dangerous it is. It is not fashionable there. In fact, in many places, especially public buildings, buses and theatres, smoking is banned.

Since fewer people in wealthy countries are smoking, the companies that sell cigarettes are trying to sell more in poorer countries. Often, people in poor areas have less information about the dangers of smoking, so it is easier for cigarette companies to make money there.

The people who advertise cigarettes also sponsor sporting events like track meets and football games. It seems strange that these healthy activities should be paid for by a product that is so Unhealthy!

It is difficult to give up smoking. Smoking is an addiction like drugs or alcohol. But whatever discomfort you go through, quitting smoking is definitely worth it.

When you no longer smoke, your clothes will no longer smell or have holes where ash has dropped on them. Your home will not smell of stale smoke. Your sense of taste and your sense of smell will improve, so you will enjoy even more the flavour of the food you eat. You and your family will live longer, healthier lives. And you will have more money in your pocket because you are not spending it on cigarettes which go up in smoke. And just think‑‑ if your children do not see you smoking, it is less likely that they will begin smoking and damage their health.

Acknowledgements

This script was written by volunteer writer Victoria Wilcox.  Victoria works at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation  in Toronto.

Information Sources

Dr. AMREF Radio Talks, by Roy Shaffer, MD.  Published by African Medical and Research Foundation, Wilson Airport, P.O. Box 30125, Nairobi, KENYA. 1990.

Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook, by David Werner with Carol Thuman and Jane Maxwell.  Published by The Hesperian Foundation, P.O. Box 1692, Palo Alto, California 94302, U.S.A., 1992.

“Smoking‑‑A Development Issue,” by Ken Shipley, in CUSO Forum, Vol. 5, No. 2, May 1987, p. 8.

“Up In Smoke,” by Rhonda Birenbaum, in The IDRC Reports, Vo. 12, No. 2, 1983, p. 14‑17.