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Lesson 15

                       Should Smoking Be Prohibited?

                                        Text

                      Passive Path to Death for Non-smokers

    Alice Trillin was 38 and thought she was in excellent health. Then "this completely crazy thing" happened.
    "I coughed and a tiny, tiny blood clot took me to get a chest X-ray. Ten days later I had my lung removed."
    Trillin had lung cancer, the kind smokers get. But she had never smoked a cigarette.
    The cause of her cancer remained a mystery until a doctor friend asked if her parents.had smoked. They had.


    "Nobody had ever said anything about passive smoking. I hadn't worried about the question much," she says.
    Most scientists hadn't worried about it much either, until studies in recent years showed that passive smoking was causing 3, 000 to 5, 000 lung cancer deaths a year among Ainerican non-smokers. Now a study estimates that the toll from passive smoking, including deaths from heart disease and other cancers, may be 10 times that.


    Tobacco smoke in the home and workplace could be killing 46, 000 non-smokers each year in the United States, the study concludes. That's 3, 000 lung cancer deaths, 11, 000 from other cancers and 32, 000 heart disease deaths.
    That would make passive smoking the leading preventable cause of death in the United States after alcohol and smoking itself, said Dr. Ronald M. Davis, director of the US Office on Smoking and Health. Smoking kills 390,000; alcohol, 120, 000.
    "No longer are we talking about runny nose or watery eyes or headache or nausea, but a fatal disease," Davis said.


    Passive smoking has become the principal battleground for the tobacco industry and its opponents in the 1980s. It is no longer merely a health issue, but political and environmental. Cigarette pollution is fouling the air.
    "We know that the indoor environment is far more polluted than the outdoor environment, " said James Repace of the Environmental Protection Agency indoor air programme. "We've seen that again and again wherever we've looked all over the United States."


    Many people believe smokers have the right to smoke. But they also believe that others shouldn' t have to pay a price.
    "When you talk about an involuntary risk, the society becomes much more cautious, " said University of California-San Francisco biomedical engineer Stanton Glantz, an environmentalist and anti-smoking activist.
    The new estimate of non-smoker deaths is controversial. Researchers agree it is preliminary and needs to be confirmed.


    A tobacco industry consultant said the emphasis on passive smoking was misplaced. Many public health officials disagree.
    The risk of tobacco smoke " is greater than the risk of radon gas is to non-smokers", Repace said. "We're talking maybe 40 per cent greater. And if you're talking ahout all the carcinogenic air pollutants that EPA regulates, it,s l00 times
greater."




II . Read
    Read the foltowing passages. Underline the important viewpoints while reading.

                            l. Benefits of Smoking

    Sir, The. essential fact about smoking, which most commentators of recent years seem to have ignored is that cigarettes give a vast number of people a good deal of pleasure a lot of the time. That is way the world smoked almost 5, 000, 000, 000, 000 of them last year; approximately 1, 200 for every man., woman. and child on earth.
    It is not high pressure advertising that makes the Chinese smoke heavily-any more than it was wicked merchants who.persuaded ihe seventeenth century Persians to smoke, despise the Shah's ingenious punishment of pouring molten lead down their throats when they were caught.


    There is considerable evidence, surprisingly little publicized. by cigarette manufacturers, that smoking produces certai'n beneficial effects in human beings. Frankenhauser showed that smoking counteracts the decrease in efficiency that typically occurs in boring, monotonou's situations, and that smokers impro-ved their performance in complex choace situations while smoking. There is a growing body of evidence that nicotine can produce a tranquilizing effect during high emotional and shock situations, whil'e on the other hand stimulating con:cen.tration in tedious situations.


    None of which proves that smoking may not cause cancer or other illnesses. But, as the late Compton Maekenzie wrote, "If cigarettes vanished from. ihe earth today, I believe the world would go to war again within a comparatively short time."
    An extravaga.nt exaggeration, perhaps. But certainly tempers would be shorter, nastier and more brufiah.
                               Yours faithfully,
                                     Winston fletcher



                         2.Is Smoking a Bad Habit?

    1, a casual smokery always wonder if smoking is really a bad habit. If it is, why does our country produce such a large riumber of cigarettes every year? (As you know, Chi.na is the largsst cigarette producing country in the world. ) If it is,. why do so many girls adrnire handsome boys with a cigarette on their lip?


    My friends tell me, "Smoking is a waste of money, a cause of disease..." Admittedly, these reasons frighten some people into giving up smoking, but can you ensure that non-smokers will live long without dying in an epidemic or getting killed by a drunken driver? Can you say it is not a waste of money for most non-smokers habitually to spend a lot of money on snacks?


    In my opinion, smoking is only an amusement, like playing cards, reading, etc. Many years ago, when an adult handed me a cigarette and lit it for me, I felt grown up. When I am with friends and have nothing to say, we smoke, consequently we no longer feel embarrassed.
    Sometimes, I light a cigarette, watching my loneliness, suffering and nervousness vanishing with the smoke, I can't help saying inwardly: Hello, cigarette, my old friend, I' m coming to meet you again.


                        3. Smokers of the World, Unite

    It can scarcely have escaped the notice of thinking men, I think, being a thinking man myself, that the forces of darkness opposed to those of us who like a quiet smoke are gathering momentum daily and starting to throw their weight about more somewhat. Every morning I read in the papers a long article by another of those doctors who are the spearhead of the movement. Tobacco, they say, plugs up the arteries and lowers the temperature of the body extremities, and if you reply that you like your arteries plugged up and are all for having the temperature of your body extremities lowered, especially during the summer months, they bring up that cat again.


    The cat to which I allude is the one that has two drops of nicotine placed on its tongue and instantly passes beyond the veil. "Iook," they say. "I place two drops of nicotine on the cat's tongue. Now watch it wilt." I can't see the argument. Cats, as Charles Stuart Calverley said, may have their goose cooked by tobacco juice, but are we to deprive ourselves of all our modest pleasures just because indulgence in them would be harmful to some cat which is probably a perfect stranger?


    Take a simple instance such as occors every Saturday on the Rugby football field. The ball is heeled out, the scrum half gathers it, and instantaneously two fourteen- stone forwards fling themselves on this person, grinding him into the mud. Must we abolish Twickenham and Murrayfield because some sorry reasoner insists that if the scrum half had been a cat he would have been squashed flatter than a Dover sole? And no use, of course, to try to drive into these morons' heads that scrum halves are not cats. Really, one feels inclined at times to give it all up and turn one's face to the wall.


    It is pitiful to think that that is how these men spend iheir lives, putting drops of nicotine on the tongues of cats day after day. Slavas to a habit, is the way I look at it. But if you tell them that and urge them to pull themselves together and throw off the shackles, they just look at you with fishy eyes and mumble something about it can't be done. Of course it can be done. All it requires is will power. If they were to say to themselves, "I will not start putting nicotine on cats' tongue till after lunch" it would be a simple step to knocking off during the afternoon, and by degrees they would find that they could abstain altogether. The first cat of the cats is the hard one to give up. Conquer the impulse for the after-breakfast cat, and the battle is half won.



                        4. Common Sense about Smoking

    It is often said, "I know all about the risk to my health, but I think that the risk is worth it." When this statement is true it should be accepted. Everyone has the right to choose what risks they take, however great they may be. However, often the statement really means, "I have a nasty feeling that smoking is bad for my health, but I would rather not think about it." With some of these people the bluff can be called and they can be asked to explain what they think the risk to their own health is. When this is done few get very far in personal terms.

The bare fact that. 23, 000 people died of lung cancer last year in Great Britain often fails to impress an individual. When it is explained that this is the eq.uivalent of one every twenty- five minutes or is four times as many as those killed on the roads, the significance is more apparent. The one-ineight risk of dying of lung cancer for, the man who smokes twenty-five or more cigarettes a day may be better appreciated if an analogy is, used If, when you boarded a plane, the girl at the top of the steps were to welcome you aboard with the greeting, "I am pleased that you are coming with us-only one in eight of our planes crashes."

 how many wouid think again, and make other arrangements? Alternatively, the analogy of Russian Roulette may appeal. The man smoking twenty-five or more a day runs the same risk between the ages of thirty and sixty as another who buys a revolver with 250 chambers and inserts one live bullet and on each, of his birthdays spins the chamber, points the revolver at his head,


and pulls the trigger. One of the difficulties in impressing these facts on pgople is that, despite the current epidemic of lung cancer, because it is a disease which kills relatively quickly, there are many who have as yet no gxperience of it among their family or friends.



                    5. On Smoking -Its History and Harm

    Tobacco smoking is believed to have started in Central and South America. Nearly 500 years ago explorers who went there with Columbus brought back to Europe the habit of pipe smoking, which they had Learned from the New World Indians. It was introduced into China from Luson during the Ming dynasty.


    Until the 1900's tobacco was used mainly for cigars, ,chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco and snuff. Cigarettes may first have been made by the Aztecs of Mexico. They smoked shredded tobacco rolled in corn husk covering. Cigarette smoking gained some popularity in Europe during the 1800's. It increased sharply after World War I and again after World War II.


    For centuries the smoking of tobacco in cigarettes, cigars and pipes has produced controversy over possible health hazards. Scientific investiBations of smoking and health gained impetus after the beginning of the 20th century, when an increase in lung cancer was noted. But only since the 1950's has sufficient scientific evidence accumulated to make possible a thorough evaluation of the health risk. Although some gaps in knowledge still exist, the information now available is sufficient to permit making sound judgements.


    Since cigarettes have steadily become more popular than cigars and pipes, investigators have directed their principal consideration to cigarette smoking.
    As we now know, tobacco contains an organic compound-nicotine. It is the rincipal alkaloid of tobacco, occurring throughout the plant. Nicotine, one of the many  substances pharmacologically active in tobacco smoke, exerts an effect on the heart and nervous system in particular. The effect on the nervous system is predominantly tranquilizing and relaxing. There is little doubt that the physiological effects strengthen the habit. So for centuries, some people obstinately believed tobacco smoking possessed medicinal properties.

 It reduced tension and was pleasurable. But in reality, it has turned out to be tragedy. When you smoke, you're breathing in close to a gram of dirty brown tar a day. Even the smoking of only a few cigarettes a day causes many dangerous ailments. An American scientist estimated that smokers who average a package a day for 20 years will lose about eight years of their lives.
    Along with the increase in cigarette smoking, many scientific investigations
have been undertaken. Overwhelming evidence proves the danger and harm of smoking.


    Experimental, clinical-pathological, and epidemiological evidence indicates that cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer.The risk of developing lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the duration of the smoking habit, and it diminishes with the cessation of smoking.


    Cigarette smoking was also found to be connected with other types of cancer. It is considered a major factor in causing cancer of the larynx and is associated with cancer of the esophagus. Smoking is a significant factor in the development of oral cancer, and pipe smoking alone or with other tobacco use, is causally related to lip cancer.
    Cigarette smoking is the greatest cause of chronic bronchitis. A person suffering from chronic bronchitis may have the disease and the cough connected with it, for many years, perhaps for the rest of his life.


    Cigarette smoking has also been found to be connected with pulmonary emphysema, a disabling disease of the lungs. The smoking of cigarettes increases the risk of dying from chronic bronchitis and from pulmonary emphysema.
    Smoking is associated with coronary heart disease. Nowadays this disease accounts for a high percentage of deaths annually. Cigarette smokers are much more likely to die from a heart attack than nonsmokers.


    Smoking injures blood vessels, speeds up hardening of the arteries and increases the work of the heart. It is one of the factors contributing to high blood pressure.
    What little we've mentioned above is sufficient to show that smoking is extremely harmful to health. Most peple throughout the.world have come to realize the danger. Nowadays some governments are taking practical measures against smoking. We sincerely advise those who have formed the smoking habit to stop and those who haven,t yet started not to. It is both for your own sake and for the sake of the next generation.    

 A recent survey report says that children exposed to parental cigarette smoke may be put at a higher risk of developing lung disease later in fheir lives. Passive exposure to smoke may. also interfere with normal lung growth in young children. There is a strong association between parental smoking and children' s pulmonary function. Children who recorded the weakest lung function were found to be smokers themselves and to have parents or brothers and sisters who smoked.
    So let us join together to launch a mass movement to break this harmful smoking habit, and build ourselves up, healthy and strong, to work hard for the four modernizations.


                     6. Call to Stop Offering Cigarettes!

    To the Chinese, who claim to have invented rules of etiquette, offering igarettes is a way of being hospitable to guests.
    When somebody calls, first of all, the host would offer him a cigarette and a cup of tea. In the countryside, hospitable, old men often allow visiting guests to share the long-stemmed Chinese pipe which they themselves are smoking. At wedding ceremonies, brides would offer cigarettes to all guests who came to eXpress their congratulations and light the cigarettes for.each of them one after another.


    All these were originally aimed.. at displaying the Chinese hospitality and respect towards the guests. But in recent years, the oId tradition has been used as a means to nurse good relations.
    Even those who never smoke have brand-name cigarettes in their pockets. Whenever they have to seek somebody's favour, they first offer him a cigarette, If the other party turns it down, he is being impolite. If he accepts it he has to do something, for courtesy demands a favour in return.


    Tobacco contains harmful substances. So offering cigarettes to somebody is equal to doing harm to him, gut neither people who offer cigarettes nor those who take them fully realize it.
    It is even more unhealthy for the host to pass the long-stemmed Chinese pipe or water pipe to the visitor after smoking it beforehand.
    Once I paid a visit to a relative who had just returned from abroad. He was smoking but did not produce one for me. Instead, he placed the cigarette packet on the table and told me: "Cigarettes produce carbon monoxide and nicotine. But if you don't mind this, take it yourself.?


    His way of offering cigarettes was unique but worth learning.
    Many people throughout the world are attempting to quit smoking. But to give up the practice, firstly I think, we had better cl7ange the tradetional method of entertaining guests.
    Not to offer cigarettes does not mean one is inhospitable. The cigarette packet is on the table. If you cannot check your craving for one at the risk of your health, you may. But you will have to bear the consequences
yourself.
    You had better also bear in mind that while you are smoking and harming yourself, you are also polluting the air and hurting others.


                          7. Smoking Is a Bad Habit

    Smoking is a bad habit. Firstly, it ruins people's health. Health experts have warned us for years that smoking can lead to heart disease, lung cancer and various respiratory ailments. The World Health Organization says diseases linked to smoking kill at least 2, 500, 000 people each year. Research conducted in many countries also indicates that pregnant women who smoke run the risk of having deformed babies. Besides, it has been proven beyond doubt that when a person smokes, he subjects the people around him not only to great discomfort but also to physical harm.


    Secondly, smoking is extravagant. Smokers, either wage-earners or those who live off their parents, spend a large sum of money on cigarettes, which cost them at least 10% of their expenses each month. What's more, sensible women try to avoid marrying heavy smokers, even though some of them appreciate the image of a handsome young man with a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. A friend of mine, a heavy smoker, has been seeking an ideal wife who will tolerate his extravagant "hobby? but up to now he hasn't found one.


    Thirdly, smoking has a bad impact on the psyche of the smokers. After realizing the bad effects of smoking, many people try to give up smoking. but no matter how hard they try ,some of them just can't resist the temptation to smoke again. Gradually, they lose confidence in themselves and get used to making excuses.