Smokeless tobacco kills just like cigarettes and beedis

[हिंदी] Smokeless tobacco (Gutkha, Khaini, and other forms of smokeless tobacco use) also causes life-threatening diseases, disabilities and deaths – just like the smoking forms of tobacco (cigarettes, beedis), said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, President-elect of Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) 2012 and World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s Awardee 2005. Prof (Dr) Rama Kant was the chief guest at Daffodils Convent Inter College, D-block Indira Nagar in a seminar on "Grow Without Tobacco" theme.

In presence of the Principal of Daffodils Convent Inter College Piyush Mishra, Prof (Dr) Rama Kant motivated students and staff to resolve not to use tobacco and encourage others who use it to quit before it is too late.

"According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents (carcinogens). Smokeless tobacco is a known cause of human cancer; it increases the risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity" said Prof (Dr) Rama Kant, current Executive Director, Piles To Smiles Clinics.

"Smokeless tobacco is also strongly associated with leukoplakia—a precancerous lesion of the soft tissue in the mouth that consists of a white patch or plaque that cannot be scraped off. Smokeless tobacco is associated with recession of the gums, gum disease, and tooth decay" said Prof (Dr) Rama Kant, who is the former Head of the Surgery Department, and past Chief Medical Superintendent, CSM Medical University (erstwhile KGMC).

"Smokeless tobacco use during pregnancy increases the risks for preeclampsia (i.e., a condition that may include high blood pressure, fluid retention, and swelling), premature birth, and low birth weight" said Prof (Dr) Rama Kant. "Smokeless tobacco use by men causes reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm cells" said Prof (Dr) Rama Kant on infertility related hazards of tobacco use.

"I was invited to a high level Government consultation on smokeless tobacco in April 2011, the report of which highlights strong and consistent evidence from a number of studies to indicate significant risk of cancers, which increases with the dosage and frequency of smokeless tobacco use. For areca nut and betel quid, majority of the identified studies were conducted in India and Taiwan. Results from multiple studies show strong and consistent evidence suggestive of areca/betel nut being a significant risk factor for the development of cancers" said Prof (Dr) Rama Kant.

"Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers. Just like supari-based non-tobacco mouth freshners are often the precursors to using tobacco for children and youth" said Prof (Dr) Rama Kant.

Rahul Kumar Dwivedi, Shobha Shukla, Ritesh Arya, and Anand Pathak were also present during the discussion. The programme was jointly organized by Citizens for Healthy Lucknow (CHL) Campaign, Indian Society Against Smoking (ISAS), Abhinav Bharat Foundation (ABF), and Asha Parivar.

Bobby Ramakant - CNS 

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