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Belgium failing to beat smoking

Published on 28/05/2004

May 27 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s efforts to persuade people to stop smoking are failing miserably, a new survey has revealed.

The study by the European Network for Smoking Prevention (ENSP) has put Belgium in a dismal 19th place out of 28 European countries when it comes to efforts to crack down on tobacco consumption. 

The survey found that recent measures including a hike in the price of cigarettes and a series of hard-hitting anti-smoking adverts on televisions have had little effect on the number of people smoking in Belgium.

More worryingly, the study found that smoking was particularly widespread among the most disadvantaged members of society.

According to the survey, 47 percent of seriously ill or disabled people smoke, as do 40 percent of Belgians claiming unemployment benefit.

The news came as new research in the United States has revealed that smoking is responsible for even more serious diseases than was previously believed.

Presenting his latest report on the dangers of smoking US Surgeon General Richard Carmona said the situation was extremely worrying.

“We’ve known for decades that smoking is bad for your health, but this report shows that it’s even worse,” Carmona said.

“The toxins from cigarette smoke go everywhere the blood flows.”

And, he added, “There is no safe cigarette, whether it is called ‘light,’ ‘ultra-light’ or any other name.”

According to the new research, aside from known smoking related ailments like lung cancer and heart disease, tobacco can also cause many other serious illnesses.

These include cataracts, leukaemia, kidney, stomach, pancreatic and cervical cancers and reproductive problems.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news