It thrills, but kills!
WORLD NO TOBACOO DAY
TOBACCO USE CAN KILL ONE BILLION PEOPLE THIS CENTURY. SO STOP SMOKING NOW, URGES DR. S. MUHAMMAD SALIM KHAN
31st May is a day to rejoice for non-smokers while for smokers it serves a death warrant. Why? Tobacco use is the second cause of death globally (after hypertension) and is currently responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide. Each year this day, WHO celebrates World No Tobacco Day, highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use and advocating for effective policies to reduce consumption.Tobacco products are products made entirely or partly of leaf tobacco as raw material, which are intended to be smoked, sucked, chewed or snuffed. All contain the highly addictive psychoactive ingredient, nicotine.
The biggest silent killer: Because there is a lag of several years between when people start using tobacco and when their health suffers, the epidemic of disease and death has just begun. 100 million deaths were caused by tobacco in the 20th century. If current trends continue, there will be up to one billion deaths in the 21st century. Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced. There are more than one billion smokers in the world, that’s one in six or seven persons is a smoker. Almost half of the world's children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke. Tobacco use kills 5.4 million people a year - an average of one person every six seconds– more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. It is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of deaths in the world. If current trends continue, tobacco use could kill more than eight million people per year by 2030, and up to one billion people in total in the 21st century.
Health risks of tobacco: Tobacco use most commonly leads to diseases affecting the heart and lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, and cancer- particularly lung cancer, cancer of the kidney, cancer of the larynx and head and neck, breast cancer, bladder, esophagus, pancreas, and stomach. There is some evidence suggesting an increased risk of myeloid leukemia, squamous cell sinonasal cancer, liver cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer after an extended latency, childhood cancers and cancers of the gall bladder, adrenal gland and small intestine. Smoking also increases the chance of heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, and peripheral vascular disease. Several ingredients of tobacco lead to the narrowing of blood vessels, increasing the likelihood of a blockage, and thus a heart attack or stroke. Smoking has been proven to be an important factor in the staining of teeth. Halitosis or bad breath is common among tobacco smokers. Tooth loss has been shown to be 2 to 3 times higher in smokers than in non-smokers. Smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day increases the risk of tuberculosis by two to four times. Overall life expectancy is also reduced in regular smokers, with estimates ranging from 10 to 17.9 years fewer than nonsmokers. About two thirds of male smokers will die of illness due to smoking. The usage of tobacco also creates cognitive dysfunction, which include: increased risk of Alzheimer's disease and decline in cognitive abilities, reduced memory and cognitive abilities in adolescent smokers, brain shrinkage (cerebral atrophy). Surprisingly, researchers have found that smoking is a predictor of divorce. Smokers have 53% more divorce than nonsmokers. Despite all this, it is common throughout the world.
The question arises, is smoking really an issue for non-smokers also? Well, there are some 4000 known chemicals in tobacco smoke; more than 50 of them are known to cause cancer in humans. Tobacco smoke in enclosed spaces is breathed in by everyone, exposing smokers and non-smokers alike to its harmful effects. According to the International Labour Organization, 200 000 workers die every year due to exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke at work. WHO estimates that around 700 million children, or almost half of the world's children, breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
¬¬¬Act now: Tobacco consumption is currently the single leading preventable cause of death, which results in the premature death of nearly five million people a year. If current smoking patterns continue, the number of deaths will double to 10 million a year by 2020. Tobacco control refers to a range of comprehensive measures to protect people from the effects of tobacco consumption and second-hand tobacco smoke. It has been projected that with a progressive 50% reduction in uptake and consumption rates, as many as 200 million lives could be saved by the year 2050 ― and hundreds of millions more thereafter. By becoming Parties and implementing the provisions of the treaty where it counts most – at country level – countries are working towards a tobacco-free world and towards millions of lives saved.
Key aspects of tobacco control include measures that :
a) protect children and youth from tobacco, especially by preventing them to take up tobacco consumption;
b) support tobacco users to quit;
c) help protect non-smokers from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke; and regulate tobacco products.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has this year selected "Gender and tobacco with an emphasis on marketing to women" as the theme for the World No Tobacco Day. Women comprise about 20% of the world's more than 1 billion smokers. However, the epidemic of tobacco use among women is increasing in some countries. However, as in our place the usage of tobacco among women is negligible, so my emphasis was on overall impact on general population.
(The author is honorary secretary, Indian Public Health Association, Srinagar branch and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 30 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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