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Students participate in anti-tobacco forum

Friday, February 24, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Scores of high-school students participated in the Jamaica Cancer Society’s seventh annual Anti-Tobacco Youth Forum, held on February 23 under the theme: Mek Wi Talk Round 2.
The forum, held at the Courtleigh Auditorium in Kingston, formed part of the Society’s ongoing public-awareness campaign in the fight against tobacco usage by young persons.
At the event, presentations were made by representatives from the Heart Foundation of Jamaica, Jamaica National Foundation, National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) and the Jamaica Fitness Association.
Counsellor at the NCDA, Daniel Brown, said that young people decide to use tobacco or marijuana as a result of stress, peer pressure and curiosity.
“The average smoker uses more than 5,000 cigarettes every single year. One of the reasons why cigarette smoke is so deadly is because of what is inside of it. In the cigarette there are over 4,800 different chemicals. Many of the chemicals you find in paint, rat poison and insecticides… all of these things are found in the cigarette. You are never too young to become addicted to it,” Brown said.
Tobacco contributes to diseases such as lung cancer and cancers of the mouth, lips, nose, sinuses, voice box, throat, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon, rectum and the ovaries.  
In a 2010 National Council on Drug Abuse study, the research showed that Jamaican youth begin smoking as early as 13 years of age. 
Additionally, the findings were that at least 44.4 per cent of students had smoked at least once; 31.3 per cent smoked any tobacco product and 20.2 per cent smoked cigarettes; and in 2016 the NCDA reported that there was an increase in the number of students who used marijuana.