We shouldn’t need telling, but clearly we do: cigarettes can be bad for our health and well-being

01 a Adverse effects_
Two recent reports from Down South remind us of the mischief that can be done by the disgusting and deadly smoking habit.

The health warnings on cigarette packets should be sufficient.

But some people need to learn the hard way that smoking can damage your health.

A report published today (here) says a request for a cigarette ended with a Dunedin teen in hospital and a man allegedly weilding a meat cleaver in police custody.

An 18-year-old was walking with a friend along De Carle St, in St Kilda, just before 4am when the incident took place, Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said.

The pair met a man known to them and an argument took place after one of the parties asked for a cigarette.

The alleged offender then ran inside his nearby home and came out “with a meat cleaver in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other”.

The victim was stabbed centimetres from his heart, near his armpit. He “got a fairly serious injury, but not life-threatening”, Snr Sgt Benn said.

The other report from Down South (see here) concerned an invalid beneficiary who died from burns after trying to light a cigarette while connected to an oxygen supply.

That was the finding of Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar.

Patrick John Ferris, 53, of Gore, died on August 14 in Southland Hospital from burns and inhalation injuries to his throat and lungs.

At home the previous day, connected to the oxygen supply which assisted his breathing, Mr Ferris used a cigarette lighter to try to light a cigarette.

“This created an immediate fire which caused the injuries which proved fatal,” Mr Crerar said in his written finding.

This Ferris feller, who was terminally ill, had been advised of the risks of smoking while connected to oxygen, which obviously are much greater than the risks of smoking when the smoker is not connected to oxygen.

Mr Crerar made no criticism of the health board but sought to enlist its help in reminding relevant clinicians of the danger to patients of smoking while using supplied oxygen.

Alf’s mate Whale Oil spotted an account of Ferris’s fiery demise and commented (here) that Darwin came calling with the Grim Reaper and won this time.

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