Sunday, August 19, 2012


'URGENT NEED' FOR POLICY CHANGE - Two-fifths of men in developing countries still smoke or use tobacco, and women are increasingly starting to smoke at younger ages, according to a large international study which found "alarming patterns" of tobacco use. Despite years of anti-smoking measures across the world, most developing countries have low quit rates, according to the study in The Lancet medical journal. 
There are wide differences in the rates of smoking between genders and nations, as well as major disparities in access to effective anti-smoking treatments. "Although 1.1 billion people have been covered by the adoption of the most effective tobacco control policies since 2008, 83 percent of the world's population are not covered by two or more of these policies," said Gary Giovino of the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions in New York, who led the research. Measures include legislation banning smoking in public places, imposing advertising bans and requiring more graphic health warnings on cigarette packets.

The findings come as the world's leading tobacco firms, British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco lost a crucial legal appeal in Australia this week against the introduction of plain tobacco packaging. Australia's planned "no logo" laws are in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations and are being watched closely by Britain, Norway, New Zealand, Canada and India, which are considering similar measures. Smoking causes lung cancer, often fatal, and other chronic respiratory diseases. It is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, the world's number one killers. Other forms of tobacco use include snuff or chewing tobacco. 
The WHO warns that "if current trends continue, it will cause up to one billion deaths in the 21st century." The WHO says tobacco already kills around 6 million people a year worldwide, including more than 600,000 non-smokers who die from exposure to second-hand smoke. By 2030, if current trends continue, it predicts tobacco could kill 8 million people a year.

Nearly half of all men and more than 1 in 10 women use tobacco in many developing countries, and women are starting to smoke at earlier ages, according to this international survey. The numbers call for urgent changes in tobacco policy and regulation in developing nations. While tobacco use is declining in industrialized countries, it remains strong - or is even increasing - in low- and middle-income countries, a trend the researchers attribute to powerful pro-tobacco forces worldwide that make it very difficult for people to break free from this vice.

The Bhagavad Gita explains that we all have both a divine and demoniac nature. Our divine qualities are conducive to liberation, whereas the demoniac qualities make for bondage. ...  All of this further affects the choices we will make today and tomorrow. If we are not careful we can find ourselves in a destructive cycle in which our lower nature dictates our fate. Drug addicts, alcoholics and smokers became obsessed with their habit by choosing to feed that inclination, again and again. What is easy for one person to refrain from is excruciating for another who has fed the habit. It is very difficult to just stop the mind and give-up our lower tendencies. Our conditioning is too powerful. Bhakti is the process of channeling our dynamic pleasure-seeking energy toward the Divine. The Gita teaches that one can overcome all of our lower tendencies by experiencing a higher taste, the taste of gradually awaking the source of all pleasure, God’s love.

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
"Within Every Heart Dwell Two Dogs"
Teachings: November 19, 2011  -

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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