Sunday, May 31, 2009


This is my friend. He is working in the Kochi branch of a huge automobile manufacturing company. He cannot work without smoking. He says smoking relieves tension, helps him to think and breaks the monotony of work. When I pointed out to him that smoking is not good for his health, he laughs. He is an educated man and holding a responsible job apart from the fact he is a family man.
Since 1988, World No Tobacco Day is being held every May 31st on the initiative of World Health Organization. The WHO estimates that global tobacco consumption has soared by 20% since 2003 primarily in Africa and Asia which has been targeted by transnational tobacco companies over the last nine years.

China which accounts for 30% of the world’s smokers or 350 million citizens is followed by India with 13% or 238 million smokers. Russia and US account for 5-6%.

Russia ranks 3rd in terms of tobacco production after China and the United States. About 400,000 Russian annually die from smoking related diseases as contrasted with 100,000 deaths in road accidents nationwide.

All EU countries except members of the former communist block, have already banned smoking in offices, restaurants, bars, cafes and government agencies. Contrary to a widespread opinion, the US government has not declared a federal ban on smoking in public places.

The WHO estimates that at least five million will die from tobacco related causes throughout 2009 worldwide and that this figure will reach 8-10 million by 2020.
Smoking may claim a billion lives in 21st century.

(Extracts from the Hindu news paper dated 30th May,2009.)
I had a friend. His name was Ganesh. He died of tobacco smoking and tobacco chewing at the young age of 36. I cautioned him several time to give up this bad habit. He laughed. He contracted mouth cancer. One portion of his jaw was cut. Ultimately he died a miserable death. I miss him. He used to call me on the eve of every new year to wish me. I can still hear his voice ---- “ Hello Joseph! I’m Ganesh! I called to wish you and your family happy new year!”

Oh, my friend! Where are you now------ I am waiting for your call on new year's eve-----



Hello Joseph, I totally agree with you about smoking, My late husband smoked for many years then decided to give it up one new years eve. He did quite successfully then 25 yrs later he had lung cancer which then went to his brain, he passed away 11 yrs ago, the damage was already done so it's better not to start in the first place.

I'm sure you miss your friend
and so young he was too.

Have a good day.


Femin Susan said...

Smoking is indeed a bad habit. Whenever I go out I will at least see 20 people with cigarettes in their mouth. I don't know why people used to smoke and now ,I think it maybe the reasons as your friend said said.Can't help with out smoking.

Sorry to hear that your friend passed away , having mouth cancer due to smoking. he must be one among your best friends.

Have a great day

manivannan said...

That's a great way to create awareness sir, with statistics and personal stories...

Today morning in Hindu magazine I read there are 4,000 harmful chemicals in a cigarette. It also featured a story of how a person lost his voice and now using robotic voice, which is difficult for everyone to understand his speech. He deeply regrets for smoking packs of cigratte a day :(

I am sorry about your friend ganesha if he had heeded to you, you may still enjoy his wishes!

Well done sir!

Funky Art Queen said...

Great post, I'm a nurse and I appreciate the facts given. I used to smoke, then thankfully I quit with the help of the nicotine patch! STarted again like an idiot and quit with the help of nicotine gum. I chewed that stuff for 5 years and finally quit that after a bout of stomache flu. So now I am tobacco/nicotine free. I don't know how any one can afford cigs now. I hear they are about 6.00 a pack here in the US. Nicotine is a horrible addiction that is extremely difficult to quit.

Anonymous said...

I've often read that the Chinese & Japanese are healthier eaters than the Americans, and though that may be true, I've heard that smoking in those countries is much more commonplace.

Anyone who has ever told me they use cigarettes, drugs or alcohol to relieve tension or boredom has usually been a person who was easily bored or tense, a person who sorely needed to try other coping mechanisms. Over time, I do not believe it even helps with tension & boredom, but it does continue to give them additional problems, which make them more tense.

I've seen very young boys in my area using chewing tobacco, and nothing I say will stop them. They are so young that they think they will never get sick or die.

Trudy said...

Dear Joseph, this was a touching post. I am sorry for the friend you lost and I hope you can get through to your friend who is still here with you, but still smoking. I smoked for many years myself and was finally able to quit over 18 months ago now. It was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I haven't lost anyone yet to tobacco-related illness but I do still have friend that smoke.

Much of my state, MN, has gone non-smoking, which means you can no longer smoke in most public places. It makes such a nice difference. I often look back now and can barely remember smoking because I find it such a disgusting habit. I wanted to quit for a long time myself but realized that nicotine is a very addictive substance. Your friends need lots of encouragement and prayer from you...which I know you will freely and willingly give dear Joseph.

God bless you! Also, I think this is a wonderful holiday to have which brings awareness to the deadly habit!

Blogaire said...

Hello again Joseph, I hope you are well!
Smoking is an addiction and most smokers find it very difficult to give up the habit once they become hooked. Tobacco companies target young people and unfortunately they have managed to create a perception among our youth that it's "cool" to smoke. Here in Ireland the government have increased the price in every budget through extra taxes to discourage smoking with the result that it now costs over 8 Euro's for a pack of twenty - about 540 Rupee's. But in a way isn't it hypocritical for our government to be pocketing most of the price in revenue while at the same time telling us how evil smoking is! And because cigarettes can be bought in other countries for a quarter of the Irish price there is a huge black-market trade plus people going abroad on holidays bring back literally thousands in their luggage.
Some smokers want to give them up and some don't - like Joseph's friend. Some come up with excuses like - "My grandfather lived to be 95 and he smoked all his life", but they are only fooling themselves and unfortunately we all know somebody whose life on this earth was cut short by the habit.
I never smoked myself but I appreciate that it's very, very difficult to give them up, after all it IS an addiction. Thank you Joseph for pointing out that today is a World no-smoking day, I did not realize this! Us non-smokers should spend today trying to encourage someone to quit - even offering to buy them one of the products that help them to stop, like "Nicorette" chewing gum or the "patch".

venus66 said...

Very informative post. It is a good reminder to all smokers. Thank you for being so thoughtful.

Thank you for your warm visit and words. Yes, continuation of the previous poem.
God Bless.

A New Beginning said...

Hey Joseph!
How are you!Thats a great post, but you know what bad habits have nothing to do with being mature adults, they are taken up by the adults who cannot mould their frame of mind, wvwn if its for their own well being. However much you might warn them,they never listen. All we can do is to pray for them, and pray that the world get mature in the real sense of the word and quits what bad for them.
Thanks for the informative post, the pics compliment it.
Smoking might be a habit for people but its a calamity that can strike anytime for the ones who love them.

Herrad said...

Hi Joseph,

Please come by blog and pick up your award.

And pass it on to 5 blogs of your choice.

It would be good if you would choose some blogs new to you.

Please mention who you got the award from, when you put it on your sidebar add link to blog you received it from.

You can also make a comment about the person who gave the award to you by asking your readers to stop by their blog, pay them a visit, leave a comment, or even 'follow' their blog if they feel led to.

Pass the award on to other blogs and contact these bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Just go to their site and leave a comment to one of their posts telling them you have an award for them and to please come by your blog to get it.

I am not passing this award along as much as I am giving you a list of blogs to check out and hopefully follow.

I know some of those I have selected may prefer not to participate in this little exercise and that is fine, no problem. Please visit these blogs and if you leave a comment maybe say Herrad sent you.



ps tobacco is vile stuff

satish kumar said...

Thanks for the statistics.Smoking is known to cause a huge list of diseases and the most important of which are Carcinomas(cancers)of various organs of the body,followed by Cardiovascular disease(of heart and blood vessels),followed by Respiratory disease. The carcinomas include Ca of Lung,Mouth,Throat,Pancreas,Oesophagus and Bladder.There are various chemical carcinogens in Tobacco smoke like Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, N-Nitrosonornicotine(NNN), 4-Amino biphenyl, 2-Naphthylamine which are proved to be involved in the carcinogenesis of various cancers. The Greatest number of deaths attributable to cigarette smoking are due to Lung cancer,Ischemic Heart Disease, And Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease(which includes Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis). Smokers also suffer from increased morbidity due to acute respiratory tract infections,including influenza,and acute and chronic sinusitis.The foetus is especially vulnerable to the consequences of maternal smoking.Even ten cigarettes per day by the mother during pregnancy can lead to consequences such as Low Birth Weight, Prematurity and Increased incidence of spontaneous Abortion. In addition,there could be certain serious complications at the time of delivery which include Premature Rupture of Membranes, Placenta Previa and Abruptio Placentae. Deaths attributable to cigarette smoking also includes Residential fires and Deaths due to diseases caused by Passive smoking. Tobacco use also increases the prevalence of Peptic Ulcers(Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers).And the list goes on........

Mel said...

Good morning, Joseph! (It's morning here, but I know it's evening there, so let me say "Good evening, Joseph!) :)

I used to feel quite ambivelent towards smokers. After all, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and are fearfully and wonderfully made, and smoking attacks them from the inside out and the outside in.

However, I now realize that as humans we are nearly always involved in some self-destructive behavior or another, and that my destructive behaviors have their own drawbacks and long-term negative effects.

I'm sorry about your friend who died of cancer. It seems like such a waste, doesn't it? Thank you for introducing us to your friend in the photos. I will pray that God will motivate him to give up this activity which is so bad for his health and the health of those around him.

May you have a beautiful, productive evening and a long night of good and restful sleep. :)

Your friend,

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
This is a sobering post and both of my parents smoked and both died very young, father at 41, mother at 56. I grew up in a cloud of smoke and began smoking at age 11, and it tasted great to me because I had been second hand smoking since birth.
This post is a good reminder and here in the US many states are following suit by banning indoor smoking.
God bless,

Rhapsody said...

Namaste Joseph....
I have a saying "Knowing does not mean doing". I know doctors who smoke. His photos are a direct contrast to your headings "world no tobacco day" :P. People will do what they will do all you can do as their friends is accept them as they are and hope at some point they decide to follow through on the knowledge and do as they know.

Rema said...

Yes, I totally agree to it. I was also very hurt to know about our collegue Ganesh.

I too feel passive smoking is equally dangerous. I have also had few experiences in public places. I get suffocated bcos of the smoke and smell too. I wonder how one can take smoke in.

Rema said...

Yes, I totally agree to it. I was also very hurt to know about our collegue Ganesh.

I too feel passive smoking is equally dangerous. I have also had few experiences in public places. I get suffocated bcos of the smoke and the smell too. I wonder how one can take smoke in.

hpy said...

Smoking is not good, but I think that what is put in the cigarettes is even worse than if people smoked pure tobacco.

Herrad said...

Hi Joseph,

BAT British American Tobacco are very big in exploiting poor people the world over and right now in Africa where they sell single cigerettes in contraventio with WHO.


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Rema:)


Many thanks for your thought provoking comments.

Have a nice day Rema:)

Richie said...

Thank you very much Joseph for this post.
Smoking is such a sad waste of health. I will never forget the phone call I got to tell me my old friend Jim Glenny had died of lung cancer.
He despised big business but fell for their trap.
He started smoking at ten years old and stopped at forty eight. Every day for thirty eight years he paid for his own destruction.
I was so happy when Herrad gave up!

JM said...

Hi, Joseph!
This a great post and so are some of your friend's comments. Unfortunatelly tabacco industry is a big business and governments earn A LOT of money with taxes...

Danielle&Hannah said...

Hi Joseph,
Yes, isn't it terrible what it can do to people and they struggle to see what it is doing to them too. Like living in a 'haze'.

It was lovely to see your message on my blog! :) I am very slow these days with posting. I have an exam in just over 7 days. After that, I shall be a lot more free with time and to blog. It's getting cold here with winter setting in! Hope you and your family are well?
See you soon, cheers,
Danielle :-)

CrazyCris said...

ahhhh smoking.... I believe the worst thing about it is that not only does it harm the people who do it... it harms those of us around them!

Not only is it a health problem... it's damn unpleasant!

It was nice of you to stop by and talk about World Oceans Day! I hope you participate in the Blog-A-Thon, I look forward to reading mroe about those fishing nets or something else about the role the sea has in your part of the world!


SkyJuice said...

Hi Joseph,

Although Malaysia has expanded the ban of smoking in public places, it's sad to see more and more young people especially ladies taking up the habit. They think it's 'cool' to do so. Some do it as a form of escapism. Whatever it is, it's a wasteful and dangerous habit to themselves and others. Second-hand smoking is just as bad.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

True Smoking Is Very Injurious To Health !!We All Must Motivate Everyone To Quit Smoking..

Catherine said...

Joseph, I can't express how your post about cigarettes touches me.
I've stopped smoking on 2000. Up to ......last january. I have some personal family problems, (that I still experience), then I began smoking again...Stupid me.
I know so well all that you said in your post, every smoker knows it perfectly well. But if you put yourself in my place or in your friend's place, the one who's working in automobile company....just a minute,'ll understand that he is true, it helps relieving tension. Bad argument, I know, but true one. On the contrary, "hearing" you telling that smoking is not good for our health, I don't laugh, I know you're right.
It only makes 6 monthes I began again...and I was wondering since a couple of weeks if it wouldn't be better to stop right now.
And that's exactly, what I'm going to do. That's the reason why your post has touched me so deeply. I don't want you telling one day in one post "I had a french blogger friend who don't comment anymore on my blog..."
Really, Joseph, I swear I'll try. I keep you informed about my trial.
I promise.
If I succeed it 'll be the best thing your blog, you offered me....

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Catherine:)

The best way to kick out a bad habit is to give it up once and for all. There cannot be half hearted measures.

All the best:)