|Grade 4 pupils making a presentation on the "Dangers of Smoking."|
They advised staff to quit smoking, emphasizing that 45,000 people die each year in Nigeria due to smoking-related illnesses and over 1000 of them from ‘second-hand smoking.’
The campaign, which is part of a Grade 4 academic exercise, aims to save some of the over 1.22 billion people that have been held captive by smoking.
The children counseled that there are lots of problems attached to smoking, some of which include problems in breathing, wrinkles on the skin, home smell of stale tobacco, loss of sense of taste and smell and waste of financial resources. “Every year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from diseases caused by smoking and when inhaled, nicotine first goes to the lungs and bloodstream. It has a powerful effect on the brain and the central nervous system, half of these deaths occurs in middle age,” they added.
Cigarettes, they said, contain over 4000 toxic chemicals, 50 of which are known to cause cancer. Also, tobacco contributes to a number of cancers. “30% of all cancer deaths are due to smoking, half of all smokers will die from smoking-related sicknesses,” they warned.
The position of the children was supported by Dr Samson Adeleke, Head of IITA Clinic. He warned that staying in an environment where people smoke impacts on someone’s health and, therefore, inhaling from either end of the cigarette is harmful.
Grade 4 teacher, Miss Omolara Salako advised both the staff and the pupils never to be engaged in the act of smoking, either real smoking or second hand smoking. “It is never too late to stop smoking to gain health benefits. To those with heart disease, your outlook improves if you stop smoking,” she said. She reminded the audience of the slogan ‘smokers are liable to die young.’
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