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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Smoking - 250 Toxic Chemicals Identified

Yinka Kolawole

Osogbo — A medical health researcher with the College of Health Sciences , Osun State University , Dr. Olanrewaju Onigbogi, has identified 250 chemicals that are toxic and carcinogenic in nature to human health that are endemic in smoking.
According to him, second hand smoke equally causes respiratory discomfort and allergic symptoms on the short term and cardiovascular disease respiratory illness, and lung cancer which is responsible for an estimate of 40,000 deaths in non smokers annually in Africa .
Consequently, to reduce the danger inherent in smoking, the researcher has called on government to enforce a law that would make it mandatory on management of public institutions to designate clearly marked "No smoking" areas in enclosed spaces and encourage clients to keep the laws.
The health researcher, who made the call yesterday at the public presentation of result of Survey of Second Hand Smoking Status (SUSHS) conducted in September, 2010 in Osogbo, Ilesa and Ile-Ife all metropolitan towns in Osun State, said air quality of smoking was monitored by using the TSI SidePak AM510 Personal Aerosol Monitor (TSI, Saint Paul, Minnesota).
He noted that though smoking could be restricted to open air places in the hospitality industry yet, partially enclosed spaces are still dangerous to the health of the workers and should therefore not be encouraged.
Dr. Onigbogi opined that 44.1% of the people are aware of any law prohibiting tobacco smoking in public places in Nigeria while 34.1% were aware of similar law through radio and television adding that short-term exposures to secondhand smoke may increase the risk of heart attack.
He however insisted that secondhand smoke causes long and short term health risks saying that no level of secondhand smoke are safe and should therefore be eliminated in all public places.
According to him, "eliminating smoking in indoor spaces fully protects nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke, separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating building cannot eliminate exposure of nonsmokers to second smoke".
The researcher noted that 81.8% have expressed support for the current measure at enforcing the tobacco control law particularly in Osun State while 84.2% supported the introduction of additional measures in terms of enforcement and implementation of tobacco control law in Osun State .

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