Teenagers into smoking likely to suffer top five lifestyle diseases –health expert

June 26, 2012 10:14 pm 

MANILA, June 26 — Teenagers, who are hooked into smoking, are likely to suffer in their latter years, or 10 years at the earliest, the top five lifestyle diseases — stroke due to hypertension, heart attack, cancer, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and diabetes.

"Instead of believing that cigarette smoking as a 'cool' vice our teenagers should look at it as burden in later years, or when reaching the age of 24 and 25 when early detection of the disease especially during their job application," said Dr. Anthony Leachon, Department of Health (DOH) consultant on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

Leachon, a cardiologist, aired this during the sidelines of a media forum on "Death and Taxes: Smoking and the Sin Tax Bill" held at Citystate Tower Hotel in Ermita, Manila Tuesday.

He said that early disease detection increase one's health insurance projection, adding that having to acquire smoking-related diseases in later years could cost him of not getting the needed job.

Leachon further said that smoking and obesity among young ones are also seen presently as deadly combination for cardio vascular diseases (CVDs).

Also, he said teenagers smoking cigarettes may suffer from bad breath or halitosis, dental carries, problem with upper respiratory tract infection and at risk of getting tuberculosis and could even be aging in his later years by as much as 10 years his age.

With this, Leachon called for the effective way of fighting smoking vices by banning it in schools, workplaces, to targeted population (like teenagers, females), having local government actions such as ordinances, smoke free environment, food label, exercise facilities as well as legislation like the Sin Tax Increase on Tobacco and Alcohol bill, or HB 5727, filed in Congress.

"Ang lumalabas sa mga pag-aaral, napapatigil lamang sa pag-smoking kung may sakit na, particularly iyong hypertensive and diabetic patients or on the verge of dying, so ang general summary noon strategic education with enforcement to address ineptitude, iyon ang pinakaffective and sin tax and I think together with the promotions will be an effective tool in curbing smoking and CVDs," he added.

Also invited at the forum were Luz Tagunicar, senior health program officer, DOH-National Center for Health Promotion, who talked on Overview of the Tobacco Control Strategy; lawyer Dianne Lim, legal consultant, Health Justice, Excise Tax on Reducing Smoking Prevalence; Jo-Ann Latuja, economist, Action for Economic Reform discussing the Structure of the Sin Tax Bill. (PNA) RMA/FFC/SDT/utb

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