Vatican to endorse porn?

For some people, to even think that the church could be persuaded to endorse porn or abortion is ridiculously absurd!  The title is a satirical statement to highlight the stupidity of the suggestion that the Philippine Department of Health (DoH), the very guardian and sentinel of health of our country, should endorse vaping! The health experts call it ludicrous. I say it is idiotic.

Vaping is the inhalation and exhalation of the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device, which is loaded with toxic chemicals. Since the use of cigarettes has declined in many countries, vaping, which is no less harmful, is being marketed as a substitute for smoking.

Here are important statements I am reprinting from the email this column received from the disease prevention advocacy agency, HealthJustice:

“It would be the height of absurdity for the Department of Health to endorse vaping. As far as the national and international scientific and medical community is concerned, vaping or the use of electronic cigarettes is not safe because these still emit toxic chemicals. And it is crucial that the public be informed about it,” said Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, board member of HealthJustice and former secretary of the DoH.

According to Dr. Domilyn Villarreiz, Smoke-free Program Manager of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), studies show that “vaping involves the inhalation of nicotine at the same levels as cigarettes and can maintain nicotine addiction. It also increases one’s likelihood of developing cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Fetal and adolescent exposure to it has particularly adverse effects on brain development. These are just a few reasons why vaping must also be banned in all public places where smoking is also banned.”

Aren’t we getting enough polluted and toxic air from our environment, and illnesses and deaths from smoking tobacco that we have to acquire another habit and harm our body even greater? When do we stop being masochistic and self-destructive?

As for the “pushers” of vaping, I suspect that they are the same mindless and unconscionable sectors of our society, the greedy entrepreneurs and money-hungry politicians who supported and promoted the use of tobacco, who would again financially profit from the misery their fellowmen. Much like those who, historically, had pushed for tobacco use and also those now pushing to legalize recreational marijuana.

Vaping a safer alterntive? 

Going from cigarette smoking to vaping is just like jumping out of a frying pan to the fire. It does not make sense. The only rational way to quit breathing in more toxic air from our present poison-contaminated atmosphere is to stop inhaling from another source of toxic chemicals, like in vaping.

This is just plain common sense. No doctorate degree needed to understand this. Just ask any child in the kindergarten.

Electronic cigarettes and other vaping products would outsell tobacco in five years. Young people are especially attracted to this new mode of self-destruction and suicide.

While the old generation of the 1600s (when tobacco was first introduced in Brazil and England) and up to early1900s did not have the scientific information that tobacco was a factory of diseases and a killer of man, today’s youth, in this informational age, have tons of evidence-based data that vaping is no less health destructive and is equally deadly as smoking.

Let’s review what smoking has done to people, which e-cigarettes and vaping would do, with equal impunity.

Smoking kills. It is that plain and simple. There is no more doubt today that tobacco (cigarette smoking) is the predominant cause of lung cancer, besides other malignancies and cardiovascular diseases that maim, kill men and women and hurt our society, especially our children. In the United States alone, almost half a million die each year from smoking-related illnesses. These are preventable deaths!

Demographic studies have shown that smokers are about 10 times more prone to die premature deaths than non-smokers. This unnecessary loss of lives is at an immense direct cost for non-smokers in terms of increased health risks from passive smoking, in higher health insurance premiums and taxes, not to mention personal and family tragedies in all shapes and forms.

As we have alluded to in a previous column, secondhand smoke is even more dangerous, equally fatal.

Tobacco use leads to four times as many deaths annually compared to all other drugs and alcohol abuse combined, ten times more than all automobile fatalities per year, twelve times more than deaths from AIDS, and much more than all the American military casualties (in all wars) in this century put together. That’s how dangerous and damaging tobacco is to the human body and to society as a whole.

Today, lung cancer has become the main killer among men and women. Since women started “really” smoking in the 1950s, “because it was glamorized in ads by actresses and models as a sophisticated and fashionable habit,” lung cancer in females has increased at least six-fold, an alarming rate, with death rate comparable to that in males. Women also have added risks: osteoporosis, thrombophlebitis (vein inflammation and blood clot formation), arthritis, infertility, cervical cancer, and menstrual irregularities. Pregnant smokers face miscarriages, stillbirths, low-birth weight and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) babies. Almost 30,000 female lives are snuffed out every year as a result of smoking. Of the 4 billion cigarette-related deaths in the world each year, about half a billion are women. It is now the top killer among women. Today, one woman dies from cigarette-related illness every three minutes!

Shall we look the other way and allow e-cigarette and vaping to replicate the pandemic of misery and deaths with tobacco?

***

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States. Email: scalpelpen@gmail.com

Dr. Philip S. Chua
Dr. Philip S. Chua

Philip S. Chua, MD, FACS, FPCS, Cardiac Surgeon Emeritus in Northwest Indiana and chairman of cardiac surgery from 1997 to 2010 at Cebu Doctors University Hospital, where he holds the title of Physician Emeritus in Surgery, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Philippine College of Surgeons, and the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Surgical Society. He is the chairman of the Filipino United Network – USA, a 501(c)(3) humanitarian foundation in the United States.

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