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), and Principal of Career Institute of Medical Sciences at Delhi Public School (DPS), Sector-19, Indira Nagar, Lucknow. Prof Rama Kant is also the Dean, College of Surgeons of India; and former Chief Medical Superintendent and former HOD Surgery, KGMU; and was plenary speaker at Vote For Health session at DPS.

“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 Prof Rama Kant.

“It kills more than ten lakh people in India every year. According to WHO, 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 healthcare and hinder economic development” said Prof Rama Kant.

“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.

Prof Rama Kant appealed to students to choose life over tobacco and not fell in the trap of deceptive indirect and surrogate tobacco promotion. “Tobacco industry is the biggest threat to implementing tobacco control laws, and Government must put a check on tobacco industry and enforce public health laws strictly” said Bobby Ramakant from CNS, who conducted other sessions with Rahul Dwivedi of Vote For Health. Principal Rashmi Bhargava, DPS teacher Ishwar Singh Koranga, and others also attended the Vote For Health session at DPS.

Citizen News Service - CNS