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Non-Communicable Diseases and Tobacco

            Non-communicable diseases refer to illnesses that cannot be transferred through infection or transmission. It includes medical conditions such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, stroke, and many others. As can be observed, non-communicable diseases can result to severe suffering and even death. According to health organizations such as World Health Organization, there are many risk factors that affect how these diseases are acquired.


            Among the leading factors is tobacco use. It is said that there are more than one billion smokers in the world today. These people are at greater risk of having non-communicably diseases than others. Based on reports, there are almost six million deaths annually due to tobacco use. Specifically, this is around 15,000 people who die every day. These deaths are mostly due to the non-communicable diseases tobacco use has brought upon them. Some of the illnesses linked to tobacco use are cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic lung diseases. These illnesses cause early deaths not only to direct users but to everyone in the society.


            Although the diseases linked to tobacco use are non-communicable, it is important to note that it can still affect non-users as well. Second hand smoke alone amounts to around 600,000 deaths each year. Almost half of these numbers are women and more than a quarter is children. Moreover, there is also third hand smoke that can also put both users and non-users to more risk. These circumstances present one thing: the society is vulnerable to the harmful effects of tobacco use.


            Aside from deaths, non-communicable diseases brought about by tobacco use (both direct and indirect use) also lead to chronic suffering in the family. During medication, the whole family of the tobacco user suffers emotionally and financially due to the pain a family member goes through and the high prices of medicines and treatment. Even with proper medication, there is still a big risk of early death.


            Tobacco kills and that is a scientifically proven fact. However, the people still need to be more aware of and more informed about the bad effects of direct and indirect use of tobacco.

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