Two-third deaths due to non-communicable diseases: Tobacco control urgent priority

[हिंदी] [Photo] Sixty-three  per cent deaths are due to non-communicable diseases, said WHO Director-General's Awardee (2005) Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, who was the Chief Guest at the Grow Without Tobacco theme theatre, slide-show and discussion at Arvind Academy, Malhaur, Chinhat, Lucknow. "According to a lead study published in 'The Lancet' journal (April 2011 issue), the most urgent and immediate priority for public health is tobacco control. The Lancet proposes as a goal for 2040, a world essentially free from tobacco. And it is not possible unless children and young people become leaders and grow without the slow poison of tobacco" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, former Head of Surgery Department, CSM Medical University and current Executive Director, RCTC.

The programme was also marked by the presence of Founder-Director of Arvind Academy Ms Pramila Agarwal and Principal Dr Veena Sharma. The children presented a powerful theatre enacting how tobacco kills and save those who quit in time.

"The first WHO Global status report on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) launched on 27th April 2011 confirms that NCDs are the leading killer today, with 3 crores 61 lakh people dying from heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes in 2008. Nearly 80% of these deaths (equivalent to 2 crores 9 lakh people) occurred in poorer communities dispelling the myth that such conditions are mainly a problem of affluent societies" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, national President-elect, Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) 2012.

"Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17 million people annually, followed by cancer (7.6 million), respiratory disease (4.2 million), and diabetes (1.3 million). These four groups of diseases account for around 80% of all NCD deaths, and share four common risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and poor diets" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, former Chief Medical Superintendent, CSMMU.

"At least 80% of such premature deaths due to heart disease, strokes and type2 diabetes, and 40% of cancer deaths can be prevented through a healthy diet, regular exercise and tobacco control. All these measures cost next to nothing by way of financial investment. And yet the gains would be immense. What is needed is the will to lead a disease free life, by controlling our dietary habits, quitting tobacco, and avoiding a sedentary life style" said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant.

"Tobacco is addictive, is one of the lead causes for cancers, heart diseases, and other ailments, and kills 10 lakh people in India alone every year. Wise are those who never begin tobacco use. If deceptive tobacco promotion has led someone to use tobacco, quit before it is too late" said Prof Rama Kant, author of award winning book Rakh Ke Dher Par.

Rahul Kumar Dwivedi was coordinating the event on behalf of Citizens for Healthy Lucknow (CHL) Campaign, Indian Society Against Smoking (ISAS), Abhinav Bharat Foundation (ABF), and Asha Parivar.

Published in:
Citizen News Service (CNS), India/Thailand
Elites TV News, California, USA
CNS Tobacco Control Initiative, India 
The States Times, Jammu & Kashmir


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