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April 25, 1990 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-25

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 25, 1990 - Page 5

University smokers should understand the risks of their habit

By Michael Salinsky
The focus on illegal drugs lately
Oas resulted, I think, in the serious
neglect of cigarette smoking. Al-
though the smoking of tobacco is
legal, it is a powerful stimulant and
extremely addictive. It is also, ac-
cording to former surgeon general
C. Everett Koop, the "most pre-
ventable cause of premature death in
the U.S."
Researchers in the University's
iivision of Behavioral Medicine,
where I work, have extensively
Salinsky is a Research Assistant at
the University of Michigan Hospi-
tals.

studied the biochemistry of nicotine
in the body, and have contributed to
the growing consensus that it is
one of the most addictive sub-
stances known to man. The facts
are startling, but their impact
doesn't come close to that of talk-
ing with smokers.
Part of my work involved
screening smokers for a clinical
smoking cessation trial. I spoke to
hundreds of smokers. Some had lost
parents to smoking-related ill-
nesses. Some had begun suffering
the effects of their own smoking.
Some had actually had lung cancer.
All wanted desperately to quit but
couldn't. And most wanted to talk

about it, as if by discussing their
addiction, they would better come
to terms with it. The screening is
over, and I have come to realize that
the saddest thing about addiction is
that no matter how successful in
other pursuits, those people have
lost control of their lives.
I think that is the thing most
students who smoke don't under-
stand. They are young and enjoying
social smoking or using it to re-
lieve stress, but probably believe
they will be able to quit at will. It's
not that easy - but it certainly
will be easier now than it would be
later.
Despite continuing declines, one

million young people are initiated
into regular smoking habits each
year. The rate of decline in smoking
initiation in college men appears to
have levelled off. And whether

life expectancy due to numerous
health risks. Chronic Radiation Ex-
posure for 20 years causes a loss of
30 days. Smoking one pack of ci-
garettes per day causes a loss 80

(Quitting smoking) is not that easy - but it
certainly will be easier now than it would be
later.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke, or
second-hand smoke).
The campus as a shining beacon
and example to the rest of society is
a tried-and-true concept. That stu-
dents continue to smoke, then, is
disturbing. It is especially so to me
when I come home from working
on smoking cessation and meet a
first-year student who smokes or
see students on the UGLi stairwell
taking a break from studying to
light up. For their own health, and
to be an example to others toward
the goal of a smoke-free campus
and world, I urge smokers to try to
quit now -- or at least when classes
end and the stress of finals are past.

those observances of increased
prevalence of smoking on campus
come to bear statistical fruit re-
mains to be seen.
The Radiation Safety Manual is-
sued by the Radiation Control Ser-
vice of the University quotes insur-
ance industry estimates on loss of

times worse, 6.5 years. Lung
cancer, emphysema, and strokes are
all often directly attributable to
smoking. The smoking hurts the
smoker severely, but it also puts a
burden on our increasingly overbur-
dened health care system (as well as
directly endangering others with

No peace without Contra disarmament

By Pam Galpern
Today marks the inauguration of
ioleta Chamorro, the Presidential
candidate for the UNO coalition. At
the same time, the Sandanistas be-
gins the process of making the
transition toward becoming the op-
position movement. In a message
issued March 2, the FSLN pledged
to be a "constructive opposition,"
to defend the rights of the
Nicaraguan people to peace and sta-
ility. Since the elections, there has
been much speculation about the
"end of the Sandanista Revolution."
1 t the revolution is far from over.
' he change in government," said
Ortega, "by no means signifies the
end of the revolution." The recent
eldction results are not surprising in
tight of the fact that Bush promised
;o end the U.S. war against
_.icaragua if UNO won. After 10
years of war, 30,000 deaths, and the
destruction of the economy,
N(araguans were ready for peace.
;That peace is not forthcoming,
l)gvever, as the intensity of contras
acks continues to escalate. On
A-fil 14 contra forces in Jinotega,
lpern is an LSA senior.

Nicaragua jumped over a wall at a
Catholic school and gang raped a
nun who taught there. Two weeks
later more than 200 contras invaded
rural areas near La Trinidad and
Esteli. In Leon and Chinandega,
black handprints have been painted
on the doors of FSLN activists.
These handprints were the sign of
That peace is not
forthcoming, how-
ever, as the intensity
of contras attacks
continues to
escalate.
the Mano Negro (Black hand) death
squads active during the Somoza
era. FSLN activists in other towns
have received death threats. The list
of recent contra attacks and intimi-
dation tactics goes on and on.
There are currently up to 12,000
armed contras in Nicaragua. Virtu-
ally all of the contras previously in
Honduras have infiltrated back into
Nicaragua. Observers report that
they are "well equipped for battle."
While the U.S. government and
President-elect Chamorro have

joined the Sandanistas in calling for
the demobilization of the contras,
they have not backed their words
with actions.
As of early April the U.S. con-
tinued to hold $3.4 million, left
from last year's contra aid package,
which is supposedly designated for
demobilization purposes. The U.S.
: refusing to release the money to
the United Nations and the Organi-
zation of American States, who
have been designated as the respon-
sible parties. Of the $300 million
recently allocated for Nicaragua,
$30 million is slotted for demobi-
lization. It will go to contras who
have "agreed to demobilize." This
vague stipulation means that they
must not disarm before receiving
the money, which presents frighten-
ing possibilities. Perhaps most ter-
rifying is that it appears as if the
contras are not only launching spo-
radic attacks, but are preparing for a
campaign of full scale violence. As
Father Miguel D'Escoto recently
said at a press conference in Mex-
ico, Nicaragua is on the brink of
civil war. There will not be peace
in Nicaragua until the contras are
disarmed and demobilized.

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