Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Cancer
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds

 
 

 Tobacco: A Global Epidemic 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Mind Over Matter by . View all columns in series
If you've been looking for a reason to quit, what you're about to read may actually startle you - 1.1 billion of you who presently smoke or use tobacco products.

According to a recent article on the website, www.nationalgeographic.com, "by 2030, tobacco is expected to be the biggest cause of death worldwide, killing one out of every six people."

While you might contend that statistics are bound to change over the next 30 years, I wouldn't venture to disagree. The problem is that the numbers are not getting better. Presently, 4 million deaths are attributed to tobacco each year. By 2020, that number is estimated to increase by 250%. Never before has the world experienced such an atrocity.

From an historical perspective, the tobacco data is almost unfathomable. Throughout the ages, populations have been wiped out by diseases, plagues, natural disasters, starvation, war and genocide. Yet 10+ million people dying EACH YEAR from a product that individuals actually pay for has to make everyone of us shake our heads in disbelief.

The burden for halting this disaster is not on the US alone. China is the world's largest importer, producer and consumer of tobacco with more than 320 million smokers. According to the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the majority of Chinese smokers are unaware of the health risks.

In our nation, such is not the case. Despite extensively publicized research and warnings, Americans refuse to acknowledge the perils of tobacco use. The daunting question is, "Why?"

After a great deal of contemplation, I may have arrived at the answer. When one delves into the stark reality of tobacco-related illness and death, there can be only one reason for failing to heed the warnings. American smokers simply must not believe the data. They've placed their trust in "Big Brother" who has promised to protect them.

Any third grader would tell you that our government is big on protecting us - that's the main reason we pay taxes. After all, the US has one of the most advanced militaries in the world to ward off invasions, police forces and an FBI to ensure safety, an EPA to preserve our environment, a Supreme Court to determine justice for all, and an FDA to mandate the release of safe medications. I could list many more examples, but I'm sure you get the point.

The underlying rationale for ongoing tobacco use may therefore be based on one simple assumption: The world's greatest nation would not allow us to freely purchase cigarettes and tobacco related products if they were bad for us. Seems like an open and shut case!

Unfortunately, the assumption is incorrect. Reality boils down to dollars.

The stark reality is that the US and other nations have resisted tobacco control for economic purposes. Such sanctions have been projected to result in the loss of jobs and tax revenues, not to mention political support. Farmers would starve and our nation's economy would suffer. Right? ... don't believe it!

Tobacco farmers could initially be subsidized to grow other products. We are no longer living in the economy of the 1800s. It's time "we the people" stopped believing the rhetoric that our nation's economic prosperity is built on a foundation of growing death weeds. It's time we started acknowledging the facts while taking responsibility for the killing!

What we do not need is more rhetoric.

I was no less than disgusted when I read recently about the United Nation's latest plan called The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Advertising bans, taxation and anti-smoking education targeted at the world's youth are presently being considered by the UN. Their plan, however, is not slated to be adopted until 2003. Who are we kidding?

Why should it take 3 years for the UN to develop tobacco controls. Is the problem of such little significance that a team of experts cannot be assembled to work diligently over the next few months to accomplish such a goal? Worse yet, in the US we already have advertising bans, tobacco taxes and educational programs. Wake up, UN ... it isn't working!

When will the nations of the world step up to the plate and do more than pretend to care about the more than 10 million people who will die each year of tobacco-related illnesses? A global effort is needed now to put a halt to the killing. This is a wake up call America. We don't have time for the snooze alarm - Mind Over Matter!

© 1998,1999 Barry Bittman, MD all rights reserved


Contact Dr. Bittman
      
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Barry Bittman, MD is a neurologist, author, international speaker, award-winning producer/director and inventor. As CEO and Medical Director of the Mind-Body Wellness Center, a......moreBarry Bittman MD
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Transcending, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar