To mark ‘World No Tobacco Day’, top doctors from the city and cancer survivors today joined hands to campaign against the illicit sale of Tobacco products. World Health Organisation (WHO) has embarked May 31 as ‘World No Tobacco Day’, to highlight the illicit trade of tobacco products as it is a major global concern, which includes health, legal, economic, governance and corruption as well.
Going along with the theme of this year’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’ to “Stop illicit trade of tobacco products,” this will help in raising awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco.
The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 6,00,000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. As per the WHO report this epidemic is likely to kill more than 8 million people every year by 2030. More than 80% of these preventable deaths will be among people living in low-and middle-income countries. In 2009, 6 of the top 10 tobacco-producing countries had malnourishment rates between 5% and 27%.
Smoking is known to cause multiple types of cancer, as well as heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and other health problems. Second-hand smoke is also dangerous, causing heart disease and lung cancer in adult non-smokers, and sudden infant death syndrome, respiratory infections, and decreased lung function in children.
Commenting on the issue, Ms. Nalini Satyanarayan, Throat Cancer Survivor said, “We all know the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and I have suffered from it. Being a non-smoker, I have gone through the ordeal and have come out victorious. But it’s high time that everyone should come together to take a stand against tobacco consumption. Not only more and more youngsters are getting into the bad habit but the number of people getting affected is increasing as well. It’s high time the government should take a decision in making a smoke-free environment.”
Present at the conference, Dr. BS Ajaikumar – Oncologist said, “Doctors, cancer sufferers, survivors and citizens have joined together to create awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco since this has proved to be a great burden to the smoker and his family to second hand smokers and to the environment in general creating health hazards and depriving many a family of its bread winner. A commercial product without a single benefit and with numerous reasons that support its ban should be stopped immediately. We are aghast that it is even illegally sold.”
“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the India and has more than 16 million Indians suffering from a disease caused by tobacco usage. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 20% deaths per year in the country, children account for more than 25 percent of these deaths, including an estimated 50,000 deaths resulting from second hand smoke exposure. In Karnataka, smoking alone kills many annually and leaves thousands suffering with chronic diseases
such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. It has become extremely important for individuals to make a conscious choice and make an effort towards kicking the habit” commented Dr. GG Shetty – Cardiologist.
Speaking on the cause, Dr. Kamini Rao – Infertility Specialist said “Tobacco is linked to susceptibility of infectious diseases like tuberculosis. Incidence of Impotence is 85% higher in male smokers than non-smokers. Smoking is harmful to ovaries causing female infertility and tobacco use is a significant factor for miscarriages among pregnant smokers. Smoking can also cause psychological issues such as mood disorder, etc. and can create cognitive dysfunction.”
Earlier today, volunteers from HCG along with cancer survivors organized a silent protest and launched a campaign – “Tobacco Kills” in front of key cigarette shops which were violating the rule of selling tobacco products within the 100 yards of educational institutions according to Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 (COPTA). Some of the key areas where the protest took place were Koramangala, Indira Nagar, Brigade Road, Richmond Circle, Mathikere and Mission Road where there was a violation on this law. The protest saw the volunteers wearing a mask and holding a placard, stating about the health hazards on tobacco consumption.
Top doctors from various Hospitals along with Hon’ble Health Minister Mr. UT Khader at ‘World No Tobacco Day’ Press Conference in Bangalore
Cancer Survivors and Volunteers from HCG protest against the illicit sale of tobacco products on ‘World No Tobacco Day’