Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease

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 Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General's Awardee (2005), who was the keynote speaker at the Rights and Responsibilities Training camp for Lucknow youth. "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 Professor (Dr) Rama Kant, President-elect, Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) and co-patron of Citizens for Healthy Lucknow (CHL) campaign.

He is the former Head of the Department of Surgery, CSM Medical University (erstwhile King George’s Medical College – KGMC).

"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 Prof Rama Kant, who is currently officiating as the Executive Director of Piles To Smiles Clinic, C-block crossing, Indira Nagar and Professor-Director at SIPS Super-speciality Hospital, Chowk.

"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 doctor, to reduce the chance of getting oral cancer" said Prof (Dr) Rama Kant.

"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 Prof Rama Kant.

Rights and Responsibilities Training Camp was held during 25-31 May 2011 and is covering sessions and hands-on training workshops on citizen journalism (blogging, Hindi and English issue-based reporting, photo-journalism, online syndication, social media), tobacco control, using Right To Information (RTI) Act in tobacco control, creative arts in tobacco control advocacy and trained Lucknow youth to produce a REPORT CARD on TOBACCO CONTROL LAWS in Lucknow which was presented to the Government authorities on World No Tobacco Day.

The Rights and Responsibilities Training Camp was organized jointly by Citizens for Healthy Lucknow campaign, Indian Society Against Smoking, Asha Parivar, Abhinav Bharat Foundation (ABF) and CNS.