Tobacco is the leading cause of death, illness and impoverishment
Bhubaneswar ,30th May 2017 (By Debabrat Mohanty) – The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced,killing more than 7 million people a year.Tobacco kills up to half of its users.Nearly 80% of the smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development. Second-hand smoke kills Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water-pipes. There are more than 4000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and more than 50 are known to cause cancer. Almost half of children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke in public places.Tobacco users need help to quit Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counselling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.Picture warnings work Hard-hitting anti-tobacco advertisements and graphic pack warnings – especially those that include pictures – reduce the number of children who begin smoking and increase the number of smokers who quit. Mass media campaigns reduces tobacco consumption by influencing people to protect non-smokers and convincing youths to stop using tobacco.Warnings should be in local language and cover an average of at least half of the front and back of cigarette packs.Bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship reduces tobacco consumption.Taxes discourage tobacco use Tobacco taxes are one of the most cost-effective way to reduce tobacco use, especially among young and poor people. A tax increase that increases tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about5%.Illicit trade of tobacco products must be stopped Requires a wide range of measures relating to the tobacco supply chain, including the licensing of imports, exports and manufacture of tobacco products; the establishment of tracking and tracing systems and the imposition of penal sanctions on those responsible forillicit trade. Tobacco growing In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income. These children are especially vulnerable to "green tobacco sickness", which is caused by the nicotine that is absorbed through the skin from the handling of wet tobacco leaves. Lots of pesticides is used. Also promotes global deforestation which is a threat. Tobacco and diseases Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of mortality worldwide. Most smoking- related mortality is due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Tobacco use also increases the risk of many other acute and chronic diseases, including cancers at many sites other than the lung (e.g. colorectal cancer,kidney cancer,head and neck cancers, pancreatic cancers etc) , asthma,stroke,diabetes,
cataract, infertility, pre-mature and low birth weight babies .Smoking cessation is associated with clear health benefits and should always be a major health care goal . Screening all patients for tobacco use and providing all smokers a brief smoking cessation intervention are among the most cost-saving clinical preventive services Tobacco and Cancer With the decline of tobacco use in many industrialized countries, the geography of smoking has shifted from the developed to the developing world, especially for men. The WHO estimates that one out of two young people who start smoking and continue smoking throughout their lives will lead to tobacco related cancer (TRC). Hence, TRC’s deserve a closure monitoring of incidence to prioritize the medical care resources and plan the cancer control programs. The recent National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) data stated that one‑fourth of all cancers among men and one‑fifth among women were tobacco related. For all regions, the incidence of TRC for men and women was highest in Northeast region of India. Among all TRCs, esophagus, lung, hypopharynx, and mouth are the leading sites for both males and females.By2020 tobacco will cause 17 lakh new cancer cases,almost 50% of whom would die, says latest cancer registry data released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).Lung cancer is a leading cause of death, where the proportion of cases attributable to smoking is 90% .Scientific link between smoking and cancer More than 60 known carcinogens have been detected in cigarette smoke, which include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrosamines, and aromatic amines; all play a crucial role in tumorigenesis. Nicotine per se not only is the main addictive compound causing smokers to continue to their habit but also makes a genotoxic contribution to the pathogenesis of cancer Most of these carcinogenic substances require metabolic activation to form DNA adducts that evoke genetic mutations and epigenetic reprogramming, which have been linked to genomic instability and other alterations.Controlling tobacco helps achieve other global goals Tobacco control can break the cycle of poverty, contribute to ending hunger, promote sustainable agriculture and economic growth, and combat climate change. Increasing taxes on tobacco products can also be used to finance universal health coverage and other development programs of the government.At a personal level also besides the direct benefit of quitting tobacco , money not spent on tobacco can be, in turn, used for other essential uses, including the purchase of healthy food,healthcare and education.INDIAN DATA Current tobacco use in any form 35% of adults; 50 % of males and 20 %of females Average age at initiation of tobacco use : 17.8 years About five in ten adults (52.3%) were exposed to second-hand smoke at home and 29.0% at public places (mainly in public transport and restaurants) Three in five current tobacco users (60%) noticed the health warning on tobacco packages and one in three current tobacco users (31.5%) thought of quitting tobacco because of the warning label.For people of ODISHA 1. Adolescents are easily lured into smoking habit without knowing the consequences.45% men and 10% women use tobacco in Odisha. By the time they realise the dangers, they find it difficult to quit. So, the awareness should be started from school and stressed upon by parents.2. Many states have banned alcohol. We request to the state government of Odisha to be the pioneer state in quitting tobacco in all forms. This would be a ‘smart step’ for a city striving to be a smart city.3. All the educational institutes (including schools) should be made tobacco free.4. Prevention of tobacco should be in the same intensity as polio prevention programme.5. The increasing number of hookah bars in Bhubaneswar is also promoting use of flavoured tobacco, prolonged smoking and promoting a mindset to smoke.6. The airports should be made tobacco-free. However, you have smoking lounges .Put a charge or tax it – so that people shall be discouraged to smoke.Also, it should be air-tight as the chance of passive smoking is very high around it.THEME THIS YEAR Tobacco – a threat to development In 1988, a resolution was passed by the World Health Assembly, calling for the celebration of World No Tobacco Day, every year on May 31. Since then, the WHO has supported World No Tobacco Day every year, linking each year to a different tobacco-related theme.The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2017 is "Tobacco – a threat to development."It will demonstrate the threats that the tobacco industry poses to the sustainable development of all countries, including the health and economic well-being of their citizens.The aim of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (by WHO), is to ensure that "no one is left behind." Tobacco use poses a serious threat to it.