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EKO Hospital alerts to rising cases of smoking-related diseases in Nigeria

By Paul Adunwoke
16 June 2016   |   3:20 am
EKO Hospital has alerted on the rising cases of smoking-related illnesses in the country even as it advised Nigerians to stop smoking, as it would lead to lung cancer infections, kidney diseases, among other diseases.

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EKO Hospital has alerted on the rising cases of smoking-related illnesses in the country even as it advised Nigerians to stop smoking, as it would lead to lung cancer infections, kidney diseases, among other diseases.

Officials of the Hospital, at the Stop Smoking Programme, held in Ikeja, Lagos, said they are worried by the increase of smoking in the society and to support the World Health Organization (WHO), slogan and campaigns that smokers are liable to die young.

They said that smoking of cigarette and India hemp have become common among the children in schools especially, those in higher institutions.

Chief Medical Director, EKO Hospital, Dr. Olusegun Odukoya, said smoking causes health hazard and it affects almost organs of the body. He said there is need for people to be educated on dangers of smoking especially smokers at motor parks and market places.

Odukoya said: “Smoking has been found to harm every organs in the body and diminishes one’s overall health. Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancer of the lungs lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

“Smoking causes heart diseases, stroke, aortic aneurysm chronic obstructive pulmonary disease chronic bronchitis and emphysema, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, age related macular degeneration, and cataracts, and worsens asthma symptoms in adult. Smokers are at higher risk of developing pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other airway infections.”

Odukoya further stated: “In addition, smoking causes inflammation and impairs immune function. Smoking makes it harder for a woman to get pregnant. A pregnant smoker is at higher risk of miscarriage, having an ectopic pregnancy, having her baby born too early and with an abnormally low birth weight, and having her baby born with a cleft lips and cleft palate. A woman who smokes during or after pregnancy increases her infant’s risk of death from sudden infant death syndrome. Men, who smoke are at greater risk of erectile dysfunction, cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke cause many premature deaths each year in Nigeria. Smoking is the leading cause of premature, preventable death in Nigeria and Africa at large. Regardless of their age, smokers can substantially reduce their risk of disease, including cancer by quitting.

“There many ways to stop smoking, parents should try to monitor their children and make sure they are not smoking at home. Parents should devote time to care for their children in order to reduce the increase in smoking in the society.

“Peer groups are the major cause of increase smoking because people learn to smoke when their friends are smoking. So, people should avoid keeping company with smokers.”

Chief Consultant Family Physicians/Director of Training and Head Managed Care Department EKO Hospital, Dr. Blessing Chukwukelu, said the gesture was to stop people from smoking because it is not healthy. She said government should enforce the rules and regulations that forbid smoking in public places, in order to safe other people who are not smoking from inhaling the smoke.

Chukwukelu explained: “Secondhand smoke also called environmental tobacco smoke, involuntary smoking, and passive smoking is the combination of side stream smoking.

“Inhaling secondhand smoke causes lung cancer in nonsmoking adults. Many lung cancer deaths occur each year among adult nonsmokers in Nigeria as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.