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Give the gift of clean air this christmas

24 Dec 2019

This Christmas season, ASH Philippines strongly urges everyone to give the best gift they can give to their loved ones - the gift of clean air.

Air is the most important resource that we have. Unfortunately, the quality of air has been continuously declining, with smoking being one of the prime factors why.

Smoking is proven to be detrimental to both health and environment. Not only does it lessen life expectancy by up to 10 years, it also generates huge amounts of toxic waste that smokers and non-smokers alike breathe in.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.

“Aside from lung cancer, smoking has been known to cause stroke, asthma, chronic diseases, and heart problems. Now consider the fact that half of Filipino households have active smokers and you will realize the gravity of the situation,” said Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Philippines executive director and National Secretary of Philippine College of Physicians Dr. Maria Encarnita B. Limpin.

People who inhale secondhand smoke have a higher risk of getting smoking-related diseases. Children are particularly more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because their bodies are still growing and they breathe at a faster rate than adults.

"If you are a smoker, you are subjecting your family to unnecessary health problems. Christmas should be a time for being together, for making joyful memories. We strongly urge everyone to use this festive season as an opportunity to cut back on smoking and refrain from spreading tobacco-related illnesses," said Limpin.

Furthermore, CDC states that simply separating smokers from nonsmokers will no longer prevent people from breathing in the toxic pollutants since even brief exposure can be harmful to health. The only way to fully protect nonsmokers is to eliminate smoking in all homes, worksites, and public places.

"Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year, and nothing would be more wonderful than turning a new leaf and prioritizing health above all else. So to those who smoke, I urge you to think twice and be considerate as we celebrate this coming holiday together with our families. Don’t make your family sick,” said Limpin.

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