“Smoking causes early death.” That phrase that has been plastered on cigarette packs for many years. But despite the wide, global campaigns to warn about the serious health hazards of smoking, people from different age groups continue to smoke cigarettes and shisha excessively. Tobacco products are also very addictive.
The World Health Organization published a report in 2018 called the World No-Tobacco Day. It said “heart diseases, strokes, and vascular diseases are mainly caused by smoking tobacco.” The report shows that tobacco addiction and the inhaling of smoke leads to “approximately 18% of the total heart disease related deaths.” Tobacco addiction is considered “the second main reason for coronary heart disease, strokes, and vascular diseases with the addition of high blood pressure.” The report mentions that this habit has led to the death of more than 7 million people yearly, where approximately 900,000 were second-hand smokers.
Yara Mohamed, a student, started smoking years ago and says that it is now a “necessity” in her daily life. “I used to smoke a cigarette every morning with a cup of coffee until it became a daily routine despite my knowledge that it would affect me in the long term. Smoking became a release of anger.”
Many young people acquire the habit from the closest people to them and from parents specifically. Student Abdullah Yassin said that seeing close relatives smoking can encourage young people to smoke cigarattes and shisha.
Odeh Barhouma, another student, said that one of the reasons the number of smokers has risen, is the availability of cigarettes in different locations and at any time. Shisha isn’t as easily available as cigarettes so it may be easier to decrease the number of times one smokes shisha, she said.
Student Sherif Mohamed said that smoking is a “tool” used by many students to ease their stress at university. “The student feels a special pleasure while smoking and it also helps improve one’s mood.”
Translation by Farah Makhlouf