Since majority of tobacco addiction takes root in young age, children and youth need to be informed of tobacco-related diseases, disabilities and deaths to make a wise choice and say NO to tobacco, said Shobha Shukla, Managing Editor, CNS, who was speaking at Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) in Tamil Nadu on 18th January 2012. Shobha Shukla is a former senior faculty at Loreto Convent College and a noted social activist with Indian Society Against Smoking, Asha Parivar and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM).
"Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases, and cardiovascular diseases Tobacco use is one of the biggest PREVENTABLE public health threats India has ever faced" said Shobha Shukla, who has co-authored a three language book series on "Voices from the field on Childhood Pneumonia" (Hindi, Urdu and English, 2011).
"It kills more than ten lakh people in India every year. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease. Tobacco users who die prematurely deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development" said Shobha Shukla.
She added: "Tobacco is the major cause of oral cancer. Stopping all kind of tobacco consumption will certainly reduce the risk of cancer but reducing the consumption of tobacco does not reduce your risk of cancer. So stop using tobacco to prevent cancer. Those who have pre-cancerous lesions, should stop using tobacco and get checked by a dentist, to reduce the chance of getting oral cancer."
"Tobacco users need help to quit. Studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. For example, a 2009 survey revealed that only 37% of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease and only 17% knew that it causes stroke. 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" said Shukla.