Tobacco consumption and its deadly effects on human health is one of the largest areas of concern, for public health, in countries across the world.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Tobacco kills 6 million people every year, globally, out of which 600,000 are non-smokers dying from inhaling second-hand smoke.
- One cigarette can subtract 14 minutes from an average person’s lifespan
- Smoking 20 cigarettes a day regularly can subtract 10 years from one’s lifespan
Tobacco may be consumed in different forms such as smoking, chewing or sniffing, but all of them are equally harmful. Tobacco consumption on a regular basis leads to ailments like lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart attacks, chronic heart diseases, strokes, emphysema and a variety of cancers, etc.
Tobacco is also known to cause nicotine addiction wherein nicotine consumed through tobacco binds itself to dopamine pathways in the brain. As a result, the smoker is tricked into believing he or she needs tobacco to survive, as much as food or water.
In order to create awareness about the ill-effects of Tobacco consumption, the World Health Organization has been celebrating ‘World No Tobacco Day’ on 31st May, every year. Government organizations, NGOs and innumerable tobacco de-addiction self-help groups participate in a day-long program that is marked by public marches, public debates, banners, television and print advertising.
The Healthcare fraternity in India, which has been active in treating tobacco-induced ailments and tobacco addiction in thousands of patients, is a key participant in the programme.
The message to millions of smokers across India, or the world, is very clear: it’s never too late to kick the butt. You are not alone, and there is enough medical help available, to stop consuming tobacco, and improve the quality of your life.