Re: News: Study focuses on khat chewing in Yemeni culture
- --- In email@example.com, "Robert Karl Stonjek" wrote >
A new study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researchers shows that a majority of medical students in Yemen believe that chewing the plant khat is harmful to one's health but they would not advise their patients to quit.
In the middle of the last century, most doctors in the USA were well aware of the fact that smoking causes cancer. Nevertheless, a great many of those doctors were reluctant to advise their patients to stop smoking. That was especially true in tobacco-growing regions of the South. The social forces under which physicians operate in the USA apparently are not unlike those in Yemen.
I can remember the days when there were heated arguments about whether the association between tobacco and cancer was a causal relationship or just a statistical correlation. It is interesting how opinion in both the medical establishment and among the public at large gradually shifted over the years. The whole process was as lawful and regular as the melting of a block of ice or the cooling of a liter of water under specified conditions of pressure and temperature. If plotted on a graph, the percentages of opinions on the issue probably would reveal a rather smooth curve.
Think of the controversial issues of today on which views will change tomorrow and exhibit a similar degree of regularity as the educational and communication process unfolds.
Donald W. Zimmerman
Vancouver, BC, Canada