So He and All of Us Can Survive

More and more studies confirm the negative effects of passive smoking, which is inhaling cigarette smoke while being around smokers, the latest of which was the 10-year study conducted by Harvard Medical School and published in 20 May 1997 with the participation of 32,000 non-smoking women. The study found that being continuously exposed to smoke at work or at home doubled the rates of developing heart disease. Although previous studies confirmed the relation between passive smoking and heart disease, this high rate was unexpected.


Based on this study, researchers believe that the number of people who die annually from heart attacks resulting from passive smoking surpasses 50,000, keeping in mind that the percentage of smokers in the United States is only 20%, compared to 40% in the Arab world. Furthermore, despite the fact that America issues strict laws to prevent smoking in public places, most Arab countries lack similar laws.


It is believed that the results of this study will help in changing the current laws in America for the health sector and will help a lot of lawsuits made against tobacco companies, including the one made by flight attendants for inhaling smoke from smoking passengers and getting sick as a result. The estimated number of affected stewardesses will reach 60,000 workers who will demand billions of dollars as a compensation for health. The trials start in 2 June 1997.


The effects of passive smoking became a scientific fact that does not accept doubt or argument. Smoking in public places or in the presence of noon-smokers is not a personal issue or right anymore, for its effects reach whole nations directly or indirectly, whether the person was a smoker or a non-smoker. The person is an indivisible member of society whose good or bad deeds go back at society.


The best example for us is the one made by our prophet (PBUH) about the group of people who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.


With these examples, the prophet of God makes it clearer to our minds that a person is responsible towards his society, and that the effects of his own perversity surpass him and reach out to society as a whole.


We have made a special section about smoking in the third issue of the seasonal “Your Health Today” Magazine, explaining the effects of smoking on people and societies, and the Islamic Sharia’s opinion about smoking and the best ways to quit. We invite our readers who happened to be onboard the lower part of the ship not to make a whole in the ship, and those at the top to help them with advise and wisdom and participate to save us all.