Leaders Should Lead the Banning of Tobacco and Smoking
Cigarette smoke contains polonium 210 and lead 210 that are radioactive. Lead poisons you 44 years in all; polonium in 296.8 days in all.
True leadership in tobacco issues
The brand of leadership we have in mind is one that shows what is wrong in a trend. It is like going against the current of a river.
For example, the issue of tobacco that includes growing tobacco, chewing tobacco, smoking cigars, smoking cigarettes. The trend is the use of tobacco by a lot of people. The trend is that the cigarette industry promotes smoking. The trend is to tax the sale of tobacco products to add to the income of the state. States or countries subsidize the growing of tobacco because tobacco growers constitute a voting block that can spell the win for a political candidate. Farmers grow tobacco because it gives them income.
But the use of tobacco is hazardous to health. Chewing tobacco or smoking causes cancer, heart disease, emphysema, arrhythmia, hypertension, stroke, heart failure, aneurysm and kidney trouble. Tobacco contributes to diabetes.
Tobacco is an economic issue and a political, social and moral issue.
It is economic because a lot of farmers earn income in raising it. Other sectors get income in dealing with tobacco: traders, manufacturers of cigarettes, cigars, tobacco pipes, cigarette filters, additives, wrappers, packages, printers; not to mention the advertising industry, entertainment industry, trucking industry, mass media, and more. Of course, taxing tobacco gives income to the government.
It is political because people who deal with tobacco constitute a voting block.
Subsidizing the growing of tobacco constitute economic and political aspects.
It is a social issue because a lot of people are involved in tobacco, including the nonsmokers. These get sick by inhaling second hand smoke.
It is a moral issue because dealing with tobacco is bad. Tobacco makes people sick. Tobacco kills people.
The only helpful use of tobacco by itself is to kill leech. Let a leech suck on your feet, or on the hide of a carabao (a buffalo) that wallows in a pond full of leeches. Take a dried tobacco leaf, or a cigar or a cigarette, wet it a little then rub in some fluid containing nicotine on the mouth of the leech. The leech will curl up and abandon sucking. If you soak a leech in water containing nicotine for a long time it will die.
In the Philippines, the cost of medication of people who got sick from smoking and use of tobacco-related products is 180 billion pesos. The tax collected on the same tobacco products is 60 billion pesos. These figures were revealed by Philippine General Hospital, the biggest public hospital of the country that also offers courses in medicine, in a hearing by the Philippine senate last year. These figures make for economic, moral and social issues.
In USA, use of tobacco-related products accounted for 300,000 deaths in a year (Epstein, S. S. The Politics of Cancer, 1978). That is more than the number of American casualties in the Vietnam war, Epstein wrote.
Yet US presidents like Jimmy Carter (Epstein, same source as above) and Richard Nixon gave subsidies to the growing of tobacco (Feinman, K. L. MD. Live Longer. 1977:80). The Philippines also subsidizes the growing of tobacco.
Califano, former secretary of health of Pres. Carter, said that smoking is like committing suicide slowly. Therefore, subsidizing the growing of tobacco or allowing the the setting up of tobacco-related industries is like giving knives to smokers to commit suicide. But before they die, they cause disease or death to nonsmokers who inhale their smoke.
Poisons in tobacco
It is now admitted, since 1999, by the cigarette industry that tobacco contains poisons: polonium 210 and lead 210. These are radioactive materials that emit X-rays and generate free radicals when they decay into lead 206 that is stable. X-rays and free radicals cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, aneurysm, arrhythmia, and emphysema. I have other Hubs on this topic.
Polonium 210 is a chemical weapon. It was used to kill Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy, in London in 2006. Scientists said polonium 210 was found in the belongings of Yasser Arafat, a Palestinian leader, who died in hospital in France in 2004 (Internet, Oct. 28,2013).
In his first term, Pres. Barrack Obama signed a law that mandates the Food and Drug Administration to supervise the cigarette industry in removing polonium from tobacco products.
If the growing of marijuana is regulated in the USA and banned in other countries, why not regulate or ban the growing of tobacco?
Farmers are willing to switch to other crops that give them income. I was a tobacco technician in the province of La Union, Philippines. I was able to convince some farmers to raise cotton instead.
It behooves the leader to find and explain negative effects of tobacco and to initiate for its ban altogether.