A reminder: cigarettes are a lung cancer trigger

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masker
Wearing filter masks helps to reduce risk of infections and cigarette smoke exposure. (IO/Muhammad Hidayat)

Jakarta, IO – Lung cancer may develop when cancer cells form in the lungs. It is the top fatal cancer among men and second most deadly cancer among women across the globe. dr. Hana Khairina Putri Faisal, Sp.P, Ph.D., Persahabatan General Central Hospital Jakarta pulmonology and respiration specialist, declared that lung cancer is the highest cause of death among men because most smokers are men, even though many women have been smoking through the ages as well. 

Even though it is the top cause of death, smokers are reluctant to quit. There are many reasons for this: One, adults in the family smoke – fathers, uncles, elder cousins, even mothers and aunts. Children are used to seeing adults smoke from a tender age, which makes them feel that “smoking is something you get to do as an adult”, or “you’re only called an adult when you smoke”. Even worse, “you’re not a real man if you don’t smoke” and “only badass women smoke”. Cigarettes are also very deeply imbedded in our social scene because of a cultural heritage, especially among the working classes. 

Another factor is that cigarettes are so very easy to obtain. There is no restriction for children to buy them in practice, and you can even get individual sticks from traditional markets, shops, and stalls. On the contrary, there are both age and financial restrictions in many other countries: you need to be at least 18 to get cigarettes, and the price is much higher there than in Indonesia, because of high taxes. 

“The Government as regulator and policy maker has already made various efforts to encourage people to stop smoking: they have restricted cigarette ads, provide graphic warning and uglifying cigarette packs by putting on actual photos of cigarette damage – the holes in the necks of smokers, the burnt-out lungs, the grotesque shape of cancerous organs. However, the toxins normally found in cigarette – nicotine and tar – not only damage the body’s organs and tissues, they are also highly addictive. For a lot of people, they become addicted to the sensation of smoking on the first try and find it hard to stop once they start,” dr. Hana declared, in the “Lung cancer and Cigarette” live IG session held on Monday (19/09/2022).