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Tobacco, the Atmosphere, Burmese Flags - 2002-12-23


1. Letter from Katha, Sagaing Division. An invitation to VOA Burmese to visit and taste the local delicacies.

2. Letter from housewives in Dagon Township, Rangoon.
Several women wrote that they heard a VOA news broadcast on June 20th about an increase in sales of the Burmese flag.

They want VOA to know that buying the flag is not voluntary, but patriotism by force. If residents fail to put up the flag, they risk fines of 5000 kyats. Therefore, most residents buy flag at 500 kyats each to avoid the penalty.

3. Letter from North Dagon satellite town, Rangoon.
Calendar request and appreciation of VOA programs.

4. Letter from Sagaing Division.
Q: What are Earth's specifications? What is the atmosphere?

A: Orbit: 149,600,000km (1.00AU) from Sun Diameter: 12,756.3km (8000 sq. miles) Mass: 5.972e24Kg (5974 followed by 16 Zeroes metric ton) Area: 510.066.000 sq. km Land: 148,429,000 sq. km (29.1%) Water: 361,637,000 sq. km (70.9%)

Atmosphere: There are three important properties to create weather conditions conducive to a livable environment for all living beings on Earth: temperature, pressure and humidity.

The Earth’s atmosphere is 77% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, with traces of argon, carbon dioxide and water.

5. Letter from Thanphyuzayat, Mon State. Q: What is the history of tobacco? How can I quit smoking?

A: Tobacco history begins with the plant named “Mapacho.” It is called Nicotiana in botanical terminology and has over 100 spices. It began in the mountains of the Peruvian Andes and was spread all over the world by Europeans. Native Americans/Shamans believed tobacco to be a bond of communication between the natural and supernatural worlds. Tobacco began growing in Virginia (USA) in 1700 and become popularly known as Virginia Tobacco.

How to quit smoking is answered by Dr. Khin Saw Win, Alberta, Canada.
A: Self-determination is the most important part to quit smoking. There are several methods to help stop smoking. They work by substituting a craving for nicotine by using gum, a nicotine patch, etc. Gradual reduction is also helpful, and family and friend support is another vital part of quitting.

Also, try to quit together with another fellow smoker by challenging one another with who will be the first one to smoke again. Government and health workers’ role are important to enforce rules and regulations to create smoke free environments.

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