Dr. Geshanova: Many Bulgarians Underestimate the Risk of SmokingHealth | November 18, 2021, Thursday // 11:06| views
Bulgarians largely underestimate the risks of smoking. The Bulgarian knows everything, especially in the field of medicine, but there is a psychological barrier – he/she ignores the dangers, he/she knows that it is harmful, there is no organ and cell that are not damaged, but this applies to the other, not to them personally.
This was stated to BGNES by Dr. Gergana Geshanova, who is chair of the Coalition for a Life Without Tobacco Smoke
Bulgaria is definitely in first place in the European Union in smoking. The main problem is smoking among adolescents, says Dr. Geshanova.
"Children are the ones who are most vulnerable because their judgment is still fragile, weak and unclear. Talking to them about health is something illusory. However, children must be worked with, the mother and father cannot smoke, there are clouds of smoke around them, and they must tell their child that smoking is bad. It turns out illogical. The state must do something - to have campaigns, someone to say that this is not happiness." It's other things that are valuable in life, not cigarettes," she said.
The exact number of minors who smoke is not clear, but it is not low.
"10-15% of minors smoke, there are even higher numbers for 15-year-old girls. And in this indicator we are leaders in the EU," said Dr. Geshanova. According to her, there should be a greater punishment for traders who sell cigarettes to minors.
"There are penalties in the law, but how much is observed is another matter. In our country, we are late in terms of control," she said.
According to her, raising the price of cigarettes is a key measure to tackle mass smoking.
"It is a world-proven law that if prices go up, smoking among young people and the poor is reduced. The young will not poison their health, and the poor will buy bread instead of cigarettes. This is the policy that works the most. The price should be raised more sharply in order to reduce the number of smokers," said Dr. Geshanova.
On the occasion of the International Day against Smoking, the Association "Bulgaria without Smoke" and the Coalition for Life without Tobacco Smoke launched an interesting campaign that motivates people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate money to a charity. A month ago, the two organizations challenged the participants in the elections - to declare their determination to overcome the problem of tobacco use in Bulgaria after they are elected.
"The students responded the most to this campaign. There were many touching moments. Children who smoked collected money saved from cigarettes for a child who was ill with a serious illness. The bigger they get, the more subdued the reaction. We rely on young people," she said.
According to her, most doctors also do not respond adequately to the problem. "In Bulgaria, many doctors smoke, which is strange. They see the harm of smoking and continue to practice it themselves," said Dr. Geshanova, emphasizing that about 80% of cancers of the pancreas, lung, esophagus, prostate and bladder are directly or indirectly related to smoking.
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