"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Smoking cigarettes is a filthy business.. and it's fatal

Smoking cigarettes is a filthy business. You smell. Your breath smells. Your clothes smell. Your bedclothes smell, your house, your curtains, your carpets, your car, your office smells.

First your fingers show stains, then your teeth , then you need regular hair trims because of the yellow stains in your hair.

You develop strategies so you are never without a fix, never without a cigarette, never without a light never without the money to buy them.

If you smoke when you are pregnant will have an underweight child and life length is directly related to birthweight, so you have condemned your child to an early death before they are born.

If you smoke around children the incidence of sudden death is increased as well as chronic middle ear effusion (glue ear)They have more chance of having asthmatic and bronchial conditions, chronic coughs, phlegm and wheezing. More than 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital every year because of the effects of passive smoking.

The dangers of passive smoking to non smokers health is now recognised and has led to the ban on smoking in public places through out the UK and Ireland and other countries.

Don't forget that smoking materials are the biggest cause of domestic fires and a principal cause of "accidental" deaths in the home.

Besides the minor facial cosmetic changes to your facial skin, the vertical striations on the top lip due to decades of holding / puffing on cigarettes will display to everybody your wanton self regard and lack of self esteem.

That's before we list the damage to your circulatory system, your heart, the cancers that can start in your lungs (100 cases of lung cancer diagnosed every day) , your oesophagous, your mouth and lips.

Now there is even more evidence that if you are a woman you life will be shorter , much shorter than if you hadn't smoked.

Dr Morten Grundtvig, spoke to the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich this week. He has spent many years tracking the age of the first heart attack, age at death and smoking history of 1,800 patients at Lillehammer hospital in Norway. About a thrird of the patients were women of those who smoked the average age of the first heart attack was 66.2 years for non-smokers it was 80.7 years - they lasted 14.5 years longer. For men the equivalent figures were 64 years and 72.2 years a difference of only 6.2 years.

Dr Morten Grundtvig says , "Smoking incurs a strong additional risk in women.'"

Yet even though many are kicking the habit more young women are taking up the habit . Between 1992 and 2006 the proportion of women taking up the habit of smoking cigarettes before their 16th birthday went up from 28 % to 36 % - although self confessional figures for this age groupt have to be examined with care.

Cigarette smoking is a direct cause of ischaemic heart disease (the commonest cause of premature death in western countries), in the UK it claims the lives of at least 50,000 women a year. More than one in five adults in Great Britain is a smoker, with 23 per cent of men and 21 per cent of women smoking regularly.

About half of all regular (addicted) cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their habit.

Quitting smoking is the easiest way of avoiding an early - and often very unpleasant death.

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