LETTER OF THE DAY - Kill smoking habit before it kills you
THE EDITOR, Sir:
A man walked into a store holding his little girl's hand and continued to smoke his cigarette. The sales agent greeted him and asked him why he was smoking in the presence of the child. He replied, "A nuh nutt'n, everybody a do it: me a do it, her mama a do it, a nuh nutt'n. She betta get used to it!"
What do you think? Is it 'nutt'n' when, according to the World Health Organisation:
1. One out of every three cancer deaths is caused by tobacco use?
2. One out of every three cardiovascular deaths is caused by tobacco use?
3. For cancer control and cardiovascular disease control, there needs to be tobacco control?
For tobacco control in Jamaica, we need two measures:
1. Long-term measures - tobacco-control law (based on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, to which Jamaica is a signatory, but so far has not passed).
2. Short-term measures of prevention and cessation.
As we celebrate February 4 as World Cancer Day and the month of February as Cancer Awareness Month and Heart Month, the member associations of the Jamaica Coalition on Tobacco Control encourage persons to:
a) Voluntarily have a smoke-free policy for their homes, institutions, places of recreation and transport;
b) Put up smoke-free signage to indicate your participation in a smoke-free environment for a healthier Jamaica.
Persons who need assistance to quit smoking and business operators who need assistance to establish a smoke-free environment policy for their business may contact the Jamaica Cancer Society at 927-4265.
You will not say "a nuh nutt'n" when you get sick. Tobacco control leads to cancer control and heart-disease control. Play your part, whether you are in Government, a resident or business person in Jamaica. You have the power to do so!
ALDYTH BUCKLAND (MD)
Member, Jamaica Coalition
on Tobacco Control