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[Reporter's View] Non-smokers Are Invisibly Being Threatened
제 140 호    발행일 : 2013.05.06 


 
   I have seen those who suffered from lung cancer or a respiratory disease after smoking during their lifetime. They finally reached the worst ending in their lives even though they already knew cigarettes were harmful to their health. 89% of the dead from lung cancer are from smoking. However, most smokers do not care about the warnings on the packages of cigarettes. This might be the reason why lung cancer remains No.1 among death rates and why 15,000 people are dying due to cigarettes every year in Korea.
   According to the statistics about smoking, 28% of overall causes of death are related with smoking. Half of smokers pass away from the diseases from cigarettes, and chronic smokers pass away on average 16 years earlier than non-smokers. Smoking raises the risk of oral cancer and pharyngeal cancer by 4 times, laryngeal cancer by 10 times, cancer of the esophagus by 3 times, and other cancers such as bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer, and acute leukemia. In addition, smoking causes spermioteleosis and impotence for males, and osteoporosis, sterility, and even miscarriages for females. I explained how many diseases can be caused by smoking up to this point, but the fundamental problem of smoking is that smokers have a bad influence on non-smokers.
   Exchanging a life for a cigarette is the smoker’s choice. However, non-smokers like me are losing our right to be free of smoke. It is especially critical for people who have respiratory diseases or asthma including me. Despite smoking in buildings including restrooms, entrances, and stairways being illegal, smokers are damaging non-smokers with cigarette smoke in those places. Besides, smoking in the street while walking, which is considered the most selfish behavior and the so-called ‘Gilbbang’ for the younger generation in Korea, is invisible murder for the non-smokers. I hope that there will be less smokers and less pain from them in Korea even if it costs a lot and takes a long time. Furthermore, I pray that Korea will clear its name as having the lowest price of cigarettes and the No.1 smoking rate among OECD countries as soon as possible.
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