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June 24, 2016

Smoking kills more people in comparison with road accidents

According to the Ministry of Health, Smoking kills more people every year than traffic accidents and hard drugs, a local publication reported recently in Riyadh. Jamal Abdullah Basahi, a tobacco control specialist at the ministry, was quoted as saying that the government also has to bear increasing costs associated with health problems caused by smoking, including heart attacks, atherosclerosis and lung cancer.

Basahi was speaking during a television talk show produced annually in Ramadan by the ministry’s National Center for Health Promotion and Information. He said it was not easy to quit because nicotine is an addictive substance. “Tobacco may be the hardest unhealthy habit that humans try to give up,” he said, and advised people to seek specialist help.

He said passive smoking was extremely harmful because the toxic gases were still present in the smoke exhaled by smokers, particularly for children. He said some studies have linked smoking with rising levels of blood sugar among people with diabetes because of the nicotine, and people with diabetes had other complications if they are smokers.

“It is only natural that a smoker feels the desire to smoke after quitting because the habit is addictive. But there are alternatives to cigarettes in the form of pharmaceutical substances such as chewing gum and stickers, which help them to quit,” he said.

He said studies have shown that smoking causes several types of cancer, most notably lung cancer. “If urgent action is not taken, the number of deaths as the result of smoking will increase to more than 8 million by 2030.” 

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