Dr Zita Esoe, a General health practitioner in a renowned hospital in Douala, says cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals including 43 known cancer causing compounds and some 400 other toxic chemicals.
The medic was speaking in an exclusive interview granted natimesnews.com.
According to Dr Esoe, “an individual can be free from the dangers of cigarette smoking by not cultivating the habit in the first place.”
She said once one starts smoking, it will be difficult to control it because of the addictive component found in cigarette known as nicotine.
“Nicotine gives an individual an uncontrollable desire to smoke.”
She reiterated that cigarette which is dangerous to human health because it contains over 4000 chemicals including 43 known cancer causing compounds and some 400 other toxics, which are tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide.
“There are other similar dangerous compounds in cigarettes which are not known by the population. All of these compounds are being absorbed into the blood stream and distributed all over the body.”
In major towns like Yaounde, Douala, Bamenda, Buea, Limbe cigarette smokers smoke on the streets, snack bars, taxi, social gathering among others, a practice which health experts have condemned.
Dr. Esoe explained that non-smokers who are always in the company of smokers are also at risk because of the smoke they inhale. Cigarette causes cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, tuberculosis, infertility in women and sudden death.
On why people still smoke despite the health risks, Lesly Yondo an 18-year-old university student said: “I’m aware of the effects of cigarette, which is why I smoke only when I’m drinking with friends. Smoking makes girls look at me as a tough boy”.
22-year-old Angela said: “I smoke shisha with my friends in snacks, I see other girls’ doing it and it attracts guys to them.”,
“Cigarette smoking is something I can’t do without. I saw my father, elder brothers smoking since when I was a kid, so if they are still alive, it means it is not dangerous as the world make it looks like. Each time I am nervous and angry, I do smoke. It helps to calm my nerves, as such, I cannot quit smoking,” Mr. Ebai told this reporter
While some people start smoking because of peer pressure and bad company, others who have been smoking for years are struggling to quit.
Mr Tayong is one of such cases. He told natimenews.com that “I have been smoking cigarettes for more 25 years now, I have tried so many times to quit to no avail. Cigarette has caused me a lot of health issues like liver problem, high blood pressure. I’m very poor today because of cigarette. My poor health condition is also due to cigarette,” he lamented.
Madam Eposi Liwonjo confessed that she abandoned her husband who was an Asthmatic because “I could not stop smoking”. She said has been smoking for more than 12 years and now it is very difficult to quit.
Meanwhile, DR Zita revealed thatt about 1.09 billion cigarettes were produced in Cameroon in 2016. She said in 2016, cigarette imports exceeded exports in Cameroon.
She urged the Government of Cameroon to adopt certain laws which prohibit smoking, especially in public places.
According to health experts, about 8000 people die annually in Cameroon of smoking.
The medic spoke days after Cameroon joined the international community to celebrate World Tobacco Day. According to research, about 6,219 metric tons of tobacco was produced in Cameroon in 2014.