World No Tobacco Day History and the Indian scenario

World No Tobacco Day is recognized every year on May 31stby the World Health Organization (WHO) in a bid to make people aware about the perils of tobacco consumption, the business of tobacco companies and what measures can be implemented to counter rampant tobacco use to foster a healthy lifestyle and ensure the sustenance of future generations.

“World No Tobacco Day” was conceptualized in 1987 where the member nations of the WHO collaborated to bring attention to the epidemic of tobacco use, consequences of abusing the substance, and how steps towards preventing its use. In 1988, resolution WHA42.19 was passed by the World Health Assembly which called for identifying 31st May as “World No Tobacco Day.”

World No Tobacco Day History and the Indian scenario

A 2019 report by WHO stated that tobacco “kills up to half of its users,” with 8 million people dying because of the substance each year. Shockingly, out of that 8 million, 7 million deaths are due to direct tobacco consumption like smoking. 1.2 million diedwithout even consuming tobacco but due to exposure to second-hand smoke, in other words, passive smoking.

In India, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) is the most reason for tobacco-related deaths. According to 2018 factsheet by WHO, almost 50% of people die from tobacco-induced CVDs whereas cancer is at 10%. CVDs by tobacco are more likely in young people who are in the age bracket of 30-44 years. News reports state that tobacco usage leads to 1 person dying every 6 seconds in the country but the amount of consumption has not reduced. A report by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), approximately 30% of cancers in both males and females are a result of tobacco consumption.

In India, the following are top 5 tobacco-induced diseases which has resulted in deaths:

  1. Ischemic heart disease
  2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  3. Diarrheal disease
  4. Cerebrovascular disease
  5. Lower respiratory infection

WHO statistics have shown that a majority of Indians start smoking at an early age of 18.7 years. Only 38.5% of smokers have tried to quit the habit while 48.8% have been advised by doctors to stop. It shows that regardless of the severe consequences, Indians are reluctant to quite tobacco consumption and it is requiring a more institutional effort (healthcare experts) to make them quit.

The initial steps towards prevention can come only through creating more awareness. Other steps include the increasing the tax of tobacco items, include pictures of warnings and relevant information on the packaging. Advertisements and promotions about any tobacco items are also to be restricted and may be completely banned in order to enforce a change.

For the Indian scenario, tobacco-induced CVDs can be prevented by conducting early screenings to check for any cardiac risks so that effective steps can be taken beforehand to counter them for reaching advanced stages. Additionally, people should be encouraged to reduce salt, sugar, and alcohol consumption and foster a healthy lifestyle by integrating exercise in their daily routines.

We at Medikabazaar, on World No Tobacco Day, send our gratitude all the medical establishments and companies who are conducting screening sessions and are raising awareness on the ill-effects of tobacco use.

On World No Tobacco Day, get quality consumables, disposables, and other medical supplies from Medikabazaar!

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