Posted on June 28, 2018 – 12:44 by Yoel Almaguer de Armas
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Don’t miss the translation note at the end. Thanks.
“Unlike my sister, who looks like a train puffing smoke, I have never swallowed it or talked about it while I have a cigarette in my mouth, and after smoking, I drink a glass of water so that the nicotine doesn’t hurt my airways.”
The gentleman who accompanied her told her that the cigar was not good in any of its forms and that the glass of water was an invention of hers. He told her that his grandfather was a country man, that he had a huge meadow in Pinar del Río and loved to chew tobacco.
“And she died of lung cancer?” she asked, half doubtful, suspicious.
“No, he got tired of living and died of something else.”
There was a time of silence between the two of us. I expected a reaction from her, because I knew she would comment on something, anything, to justify her vision as a smoker.
“Doctors always say that smoking causes lung cancer, but there are a lot of people with lung cancer who have never put one in their mouths.”
To corroborate the lady’s idea a little, the Cuban Journal of Hygiene and Epidemiology wrote in one of its issues that tobacco is associated with cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, cervix, kidney, ureter, bladder, blood system and, especially, lung.
Studies published in issue 44 of this magazine show that women who smoke tend to have an earlier menopause and have a double risk of developing lung cancer than men, while men, when they smoke one pack a day, increase their risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation by 40%.
The lady, who was waiting for a test result in the lobby of the hospital in Havana, is one of the many people who wake up with a little coffee and a cigarette in their mouth, and when they don’t have them, they have a headache and the day is pure sorrow.
From the moment I heard it, I thought of an alternative that would help her reduce her addiction, until she quit smoking. She didn’t know I was a journalist because I didn’t tell her, either. You may read this paper and know that it is intended for her and everyone who has ever tried to quit smoking and has not been able to.
The World Health Organization, WHO, explains that tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year. Of these, more than 6 million are consumers of the product, and around 890,000 are non-smokers exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke.
WHO also states that in adults, smoke from other serious cardiovascular and respiratory disorders, particularly coronary heart disease and lung cancer, causes sudden death in infants and low birth weight in pregnant women.
The same Organization states that tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world, and tobacco use is expected to cause 450 million deaths in the next 50 years.
The one who is a “titi” is one of the many people who recognize the negative effect that smoking cigarettes has on their health, and often have the obligation to quit when it causes them to say between life and the addiction to smoke.
TRANSLATION NOTE: The Spanish headline is “Yo soy una “titi”. It’s a Cuban slang expression referring to a still-attractive, but no longer as young, female. Because it’s slang, I asked two Cuban translators. The first, a female in her seventies wrote:
A titi is slang for a very young person. In that context she means she looks and feels very young despite her 50’s.
The second, male in his fifties, wrote:
As to “titi”, very common too. It’s just slang (although not offensive) to refer to someone who looks really good, young and/or healthy (especially in cases of middle-aged people), and it can be used for men and women alike. Now, you would only call a woman “estas hecha un titi” when you’re close to her. Behind a woman’s back, it’s as common a sex-related remark as any other, like “Look at that temba (a woman in her 40s or 50s, remember that one? Like in discotemba?), she’s kind of old and yet see how tasty she looks”. But even if my grandmother complains about how weak or sick she feels because of her old age, I could very well use that expression and tell her, “Don’t say that, you look really great!” (…estas echa un titi). Hope you get the picture.
July 6, 2018
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Dr. Lilian Valdivia García, head of the nutritional support group at the National Minimum Access Surgery Center in the Cuban capital, where she works as an intensivist, told Radio Rebelde that obesity is currently a health problem in the country.
Also a specialist in General Comprehensive and Internal Medicine, Dr. Vadivia explained that a national survey on cardiovascular risk factors reported that 42 percent of the Cuban population was overweight, of these, 47 percent were female and 37.6 percent were male; the most worrying thing was that 13 percent of the total are children, and as a result they are exposed to serious diseases.
The above, he said, has an impact on health, because if not taken up in time, these infants will become obese in adolescence and later as adults with risk factors for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercolestoremia, ie, increased fat and incidence of diseases such as heart attacks, cerebrovascular diseases and increased incidence of high blood pressure, among others.
“Many patients who come to our consultations with these diseases respond favorably to a diet plan that makes them lose weight, thus compensating for their diabetes or stop being so, and others eliminate hypertension.
Dr. Valdivia Garcia also said: “As for the types of obesity, we classify the weight of the patients according to their body mass index; we calculate the size squared and divide it by the kilos of weight they weigh.
He explained that a person’s normal body mass index should be between 18.5 and 24.9; when it is above 25 and 29.9 it is said that the patient is overweight, and after 30 is considered obese, according to the different degrees that has this condition that indicates that when the body mass index is 40 corresponds to super obesity.
He categorically affirmed that this evil is preventable from childhood. A person becomes obese, among other causes, because he or she begins to have bad eating habits from a very early age. “It’s not that they don’t eat jams,” he says, “but that’s one day, without being the essence of the infant’s diet; parents usually offer them empty calories, such as soft drinks, sweets or candy.”
For Dr. Valdivia, good nutrition is provided by a balanced diet: “It is considered that in the first place are cereals and fruits, then vegetables, followed by proteins as a contribution of essential amino acids, then dairy products for the body that is not capable of producing them and then what I say to patients are the “whims” or jams, known as empty proteins that should be eaten one day as something exceptional.
The population has the false concept that only meat is protein,” he said, “but so is a dish of rice and beans because legumes are legumes; eggs are also a protein with the highest biological value that exists. Sometimes they go to the agricultural market and instead of buying fruits and vegetables, they choose empty calories and other products that do not provide the body with vitamins or other necessary nutrients.
Dr. Valdivia also pointed out the importance of becoming aware of the harmfulness of inadequate dietary habits to human health; each person has the power to stop the growth of overweight and obesity – she said categorically.
(Taken from Radio Rebelde)