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     Volume 2 Issue 85 | September 7, 2008|


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Should women smoke?

SMOKING is not a new trend; it has existed for centuries; from the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilization in the 9th century. But, in recent years smoking has become a widely talked about issue, particularly smoking among women. I find no reason why women shouldn't smoke. Like us men, women also have the right to smoke; in addition smoking helps to relieve everyday stress, besides many great personalities have been known to smoke.

We live in a civilized world, where every human being has the freedom to do what they want. If we men can smoke with impunity, why can't the women? In today's world, the level of stress related to work is on the rise, which is having an adverse effect on individuals and as a whole on the country's workforce. Smoking can help to alleviate the stress, and hence improve productivity. Besides, many great personalities are known to smoke; from politicians like Winston Churchill, Stalin to athletes, film stars, and philosophers and so on. If smoking was so bad, then how come these personalities and others are not being criticized for smoking.

Smoking should not be prohibited, it is up to the individuals to decide whether to smoke or not to, they are free to make their decisions.

Fuzail Ahmad Siddiqui

‘SMOKING' the word itself should be a big no, irrespective of age, sex, race and religion! But since the discussion is about female smokers I am focusing on whether the bad habit should be indulged by the fairer sex. Being a medical student, the harms of smoking is embedded in my mind. Believe me, smoking alone is a predisposing factor that increases the morbidity. It leads to many fatal diseases like cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and myocardial infarction causing death in seconds, chronic lung diseases like emphysema, bronchiectesis, cancer of lungs, pharynx to name a few where you are put through excruciating pain. Surely, if the smart girls of today are trying to use smoking as an epitome of independence, shouldnt they think again? Your health should be your wealth. Nothing can be more precious than life itself. If illness leading to premature death is the consequence of temporary fun, freedom and fashion, nothing can be even more foolish.

Nicotine, one of the chief constituents of tobacco, is highly addictive. Nature has endorsed girls with the power to bring a new life. If girls get into the habit of smoking they are just putting their unborn child at risk too! Maternal smoking leads to miscarriage, preterm birth and low birth weight babies. So the girls out there, who are smoking or contemplating smoking, just throw the idea away! Let us all say no to smoking and make this world a better place to live in.

Rumman Fatima Nizam
Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College, Dhaka.

IT’s a surprise that in this 21st century when we are motivating people to give up smoking, observing a smoke free day, doing campaigns; we are still stuck to the argument on whether women should smoke or not?

Should women smoke just to copy their favourite stars, parents or pals? Or just to equate themselves with men? Or you may say to burn their fat? None of these so-called benefits are sufficient enough to risk your life. Now a days there is hardly anyone who doesn't know how smoking slowly leads to the path of death.

Shown by a recent study in Scotland, it's now no more than an ancient myth that nicotine burns fat. Rather it results in weight gain. I hope the girls keep themselves slim and fit by taking a proper diet and exercise, not by abusing themselves. Choosing to smoke, as a fashion statement will define you no less than an illiterate village people or an ancient fashion icon who either don't know its hazardous effects or simply don't care about it.

Again if you want to equate yourselves with man, try to equate in education, business, service etc. A killer like smoking can never be a measurement of equality or independence.

Tasneema Rahman Shejuty
Mymensingh Medical College, Mymensingh

EVERYBODY knows that smoking is dangerous for health. It has been proved beyond any doubt. But in spite of most of the smokers knowing the consequences of smoking, they have not given up this habit. Why is that? In searching the answer to this question, I also started smoking, and now I have become a regular smoker. Only the regular smokers can tell how it truly feels to smoke. It relaxes the mind and helps to overcome depression. Whenever I am depressed I just love to smoke. I know it's a bad thing & it is hampering my health. But I cannot leave this habit now. I also wonder why can girls not smoke if boys can? It is a personal matter and should not involve the issue of gender.

Akhanda Saima Jabeen
Dept-BBA, American International University Bangladesh (AIUB)

“WHY should boys have all the fun?” This can be a 'good' reason for some modern girls to start smoking. So far, smoking was only considered to be a male act. But recently it has become a female one, as well. These days, many young girls think that they are modern and independent. So, they also have the right to smoke as the boys do. But what young girls should also know is the fact that smoking is harder on their health than on their male counterparts, making them more prone to all tobacco-related disorders and conditions. The tobacco companies have been successful in associating smoking with independence, fashion, freedom, and rebellion and for many girls, a key for weight loss.

Women smokers are now more popular. Teenage girls who watch their weight are more likely to take up smoking to get a supermodel like figure. The fact that smoking can slim has become a myth. The myth might as well be viewed as a clever marketing technique used by the tobacco companies to raise the number of female buyers. But medical experts say that young girls should stop thinking that lighting up of cigarettes is the appropriate technique to keep their body weight steady.

For a teenage girl who has just started college, the greatest desire is to achieve peer acceptance and to be popular. In fact, some girls who try to act like celebrities consider smoking to be the coolest thing. They see smoking as a fashion and hence adopt it as a fashion statement; the harms of smoking never cross their minds. They are unaware of the fact that they can get hooked to it. Once they get addicted to nicotine, it is very hard to get over it.

I am talking about those female smokers who tend to smoke, even being aware of the fact that smoking has many bad effects. I would like to welcome all the female smokers to quit smoking before enough damage is done as the harms of smoking are well documented. I hope the smokers realize that smoking is rather an 'uncool' act. Just for the record, there are 100 'stop smoking' programs out there to help you, so help yourself now!

Nibras Sakafi
(Dept. of English, Jahangirnagar University.)

TINA was staring wide-eyed at me. I could not endure the sight of the sunken eyes with a grimace of pain searching through me the good old days we used to be a part of. I saw her flick away a tear from the corner of her reddish eyes. It was too late for her to give up what she has gripped so tightly inveigled by some vindictive friends she used to hang out with.

This is the story of a thousand Tinas who have out of mere curiosity or peer pressure have laid their hands on the blood curdling habit of smoking. Although aware of the serious effects of smoking, today's teenagers just cannot unbridle their eagerness to take up cigarette smoking as a part of their day-to-day life.

According to my opinion, girls mainly smoke for two reasons. Firstly, to imitate the actress they are crazily fond of. In a word, it seems to appear to them as a blessing from the fashion world. The glamour and glitz baffles most young women and they rush after the cigarette to stay cool and be a part of the modern society. Secondly, having seen their parents or relatives inhaling the smokes they also want to have some experience. Sometimes pressure from close friends also plays a significant role.

From my own perspective, women and men both should avoid smoking to retain a good health and a healthy mind. The effects of Cigarette smoke are disastrous for the body's immune system. Cigarette smoke contains nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide and all of these have far-reaching impacts we would not be able to make out. Nicotine is addictive. It stimulates the heart rate and blood pressure to a high level. The nicotine forces the smokers to grip smoking tightly even when they want to quit it.

So, smoking is not only a problem for the inhaler but also for the people living around. Pregnant woman who smoke are endangering the lives of their precious babies. They are digging their own grave as well as for the new lives. Women are directly causing the future generation to be weak and the existence of human race would be a futile thought if all women took up smoking. Certainly now we can feel a twinge of conscience piercing our heart. It is time we should say loudly "Ban smoking. This is for the sake of all the living beings in this world!"

Shatabdi Biswas

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