Czech president has doctors fuming

| October 22, 2013

Doctors have challenged a statement by Milos Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic, who reportedly said that tobacco smoking posed no health risk if smokers took up the habit after the age of 27, as he did, according to a story in the Prague Daily Monitor.

Zeman was said to have made the statement during a visit to the Philip Morris cigarette facility at Kutna Hora, central Bohemia.

A chain smoker, Zeman suffers from diabetes, and doctors have recommended that he should at least limit his smoking if he is unable to give it up completely.

Doctors were described as feeling indignant at his words. “This is definitely not a recommendation a sane person should give,” said Eva Kralikova, a specialist in smoking addiction treatment. “It is as if the president said that putting one’s nose in a car exhaust after the age of 27 is harmless.”

Meanwhile, Vitezslav Kolek, head of the lung specialists’ association, was quoted as saying that public comments on the consequences of smoking should be in harmony with scientifically founded facts.

He said expert studies proved that smoking was harmful and cut human life short, and that it paid to stop smoking. The people who stopped smoking aged 25–35 prolonged their lives by up to 10 years. The later one gave up smoking, the shorter the prolongation was, because some changes in the organism were irreversible, he added.

Category: Breaking News

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