Young people should not begin tobacco use: Grow without tobacco

[हिंदी] Over 80 per cent of the tobacco use begins before the age of 18 years. That is why young people should be well informed about life-threatening ailments attributed to tobacco use, and should not begin tobacco use. Tobacco industry has used direct, indirect and surrogate deceptive advertising to promote tobacco use and targetted young people because children and young people are their potential customers. It is imperative that health promotion campaigns reach the children and young people too so that our youth can make an informed, intelligent and smart choice to grow without tobacco, said Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, President-elect, Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) and co-patron of Citizens for Healthy Lucknow (CHL) campaign.

Prof Rama Kant was speaking as a keynote speaker at SJS Public School, Munshipulia, Indira Nagar, Lucknow on "Grow Without Tobacco" theme. He is the former Head of the Department of Surgery, CSM Medical University (erstwhile King George’s Medical College – KGMC) and a World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General’s International Awardee (2005).

The Principal of SJS Public School, Ms Afshan said "young people must stay away from the slow poison of tobacco – it is in their long-term interest." She ensures tobacco-free environment in her campus, informed Ms Afshan.

"Tobacco kills more than 10 lakh people in India every year. Young people should not fall in the trap of common misconceptions about tobacco use, like those wrongly associating tobacco use to glamour and lifestyle – and realize the deadly face of tobacco addiction – which is linked to life-threatening diseases and disabilities" said Prof Rama Kant who is the present Executive Director of Piles To Smiles Clinic, C-block crossing, Indira Nagar and Professor-Director at SIPS Super-speciality Hospital, Chowk.

"Controlling the epidemic of tobacco among young people is an important part of any comprehensive tobacco control strategy" said Prof Rama Kant.

"About half of all tobacco-related deaths occur at ages 35-69 years, making tobacco the most important cause of premature death in developed countries. Many of those who die from smoking were not particularly heavy smokers, but most of them did start smoking in their teenage years. Smokers in their thirties and forties have five times as many heart attacks as non-smokers. Heart attacks and tobacco related cancers are the main ways in which tobacco use kills young tobacco users. In industrialized countries, tobacco is responsible for 75-80% of all heart attack deaths in young smokers under the age of 50" said Prof Rama Kant.

"Especially troubling is the rising prevalence of tobacco use among girls. The new WHO report, Women and health: today's evidence, tomorrow's agenda, points to evidence that tobacco advertising increasingly targets girls. Data from 151 countries show that about 7% of adolescent girls smoke cigarettes as opposed to 12% of adolescent boys. In some countries, almost as many girls smoke as boys" shared Prof Rama Kant. A documentary film (Hindi version), 'A Heavy Price' which has personal testimonies from survivors of tobacco-related cancers and other health hazards, was also screened for students.

This 'Grow Without Tobacco' theme discussion was jointly organized by 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, USA
The States Times, Jammu & Kashmir
CNS No Tobacco Initiative