Dr Banarsi Lal & Dr Pawan Sharma
Every year 31st of May is observed as the World No Tobacco Day across the globe .The objective to observe this day is to spread the awareness about the risks of tobacco and to make the world tobacco free. This campaign also urges people to have a healthy lifestyle amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of campaign is to reduce the diseases and deaths caused by the tobacco intake. The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2021 is ‘Commit to Quit’. This campaign encourages people to quit tobacco for a healthier life. Several events are organized across the globe to create awareness on its harmful effects across the globe. Due to COVID-19 no public campaigns will be organized .People will be educated through the virtual mode. Various types of webinars, video conferences, media campaigns etc. can be organized to create awareness among the people on this day. The Member States of the World Health Organisation created No Tobacco Day in 1987 as a response to the global tobacco crisis and the diseases and deaths caused by the epidemic. The World Health Assembly passed Resolution WHA40.38 in 1987, calling April 7 to be World No Smoking Day. Next, Resolution WHA 42.19 was passed in 1988, issuing May 31 as an annual observance of World No Tobacco Day.Tobacco is the leading cause of respiratory disorders like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, tuberculosis and other lung diseases. It can lead to lung cancer and oral cancer. According to the reports, tobacco accounts about 30 per cent of the cancers. In 2008, the WHO banned advertisement or promotion of tobacco. The theme of that year was ‘Tobacco free youth’. The most populous country in the World, China is the leading cigarette industry in the world. India is the second-largest consumer of tobacco in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has led many tobacco users saying that they want to quit. The best way to quit smoking is to never start it. There is need to educate the youths to avoid the smoking. About 8 million people die every year across the globe because of tobacco-related ailments. About 80 per cent of deaths due to tobacco are from low and middle income countries. Poorest people are the most negatively affected by the tobacco. Due to addiction, they spend their hard earned money on tobacco rather spending on the health, education and food. It decreases the overall development in the society. Second-hand smoke causes over 600,000 deaths a year. Sadly, about 28 per cent of victims are the kids. About 50 per cent children breathe smoky air in the public places, so it’s good that the rate isn’t higher. Public smoking should be strictly banned. Tobacco industry damages the environment. Tobacco crop requires a lot of fertilizers and pesticides and thus the crop creates the soil pollution. Its manufacturing creates more than 2 million tones of waste and consumes 4.3 millions hectares of land. Various campaigning material can be used widely to tell people the dangers of using the tobacco. We can post on Twitter and other social media platforms, pictures or ideas of what can be done in our neighbourhoods to help people quit tobacco. The overall smoking rate worldwide has decreased but population growth rate has led to a greater number of smokers. Lung health starts with no smoking. Over 70 per cent of the 1.3 billion tobacco users across the world lack access to the tools they need to quit successfully. It has been reported that most of the patients with TB have a history of smoking. Smokers need the support of their friends and families to relinquish this bad habit. Each smoker needs to determine what works best him. Nicotine replacement therapies can work to eradicate this problem. E-cigarettes, strong behavioural support from a trusted doctor or an interactive app may also work. This gap is further exacerbated in the last year as the health workers have been mobilized to handle the pandemic. Many tobacco growers feel that the anti-tobacco efforts by the certain organizations jeopardize their rights. They argue that the growers may suffer the consequences if these organizations succeed in their movement. They feel that there might be the attack on the industry. Unlike the tobacco industry some pharmaceutical companies publicly support the World No Tobacco Day.There is need to protect and prevent youths from tobacco and nicotine use. According to the reports, about 17 per cent of young people between the age groups of 15 and 24 smoke worldwide. Serious efforts are needed to safeguard the youths from this menace. Some best practices need to be showcased to protect the youths from tobacco. Young people must take care of their health and they need to reject tobacco addition as ultimately they are the future of the nation. The overall objective of celebration of the World No Tobacco Day on 31st of May is to create awareness among the people on the hazardous side effects of tobacco that causes cancer and many other serious ailments. For a good health we need to eat healthy food, feel healthy and above all we should not have any addiction of those products which are harmful to our health. It has been proved that tobacco is one of the products which is very harmful to our health. It is estimated that there are about 1.3 billion tobacco users in the world from which one out of 10 people die due to its use. About 80 per cent of the world’s 1.3 billion tobacco users live in low and middle-income countries. Certain policies are needed to eradicate the use of tobacco from the society. World Health Organisation (WHO) has banned many advertisements, sponsorships, promotion of tobacco and many of its products.Scientifically it has been proved that tobacco use causes short-term and long-term effects such as cancer, mouth ulcers, lung diseases, staining of teeths, mouth sores, cavities, senseless tongue, dizziness, heart diseases, stroke etc. Tobacco severely affects the health of the heart and other cardiovascular diseases which are the leading cause of death in the world. One should pledge to quit smoking or chewing of tobacco on this day. Tobacco kills about 8 million people worldwide each year. Smoking kills over one million people in India and is the leading cause of the non-communicable diseases. Tobacco is very dangerous for our health and there is need to control it by taking various strong preventive measures. Tobacco contains nicotine which is very harmful for the health. In present era many things have been made which can be eaten instead of nicotine. More and more awareness on tobacco needs to be created among the youths so that a safe and secure society can be developed. Some new interventions need to be introduced to make a tobacco free society. More innovative, effective and compassionate solutions to accelerate an end of this global problem. Ultimately healthy lungs and healthy lives start by no smoking.(The writers are Head, KVK Reasi and Scientist, KVK Kathua).
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