Choose life, not tobacco: this is the message delivered by doctor and anti-tobacco activist, Dr. Ulhas Wagh during the session about “Ill-effects of tobacco consumption” held in Press Information Bureau, Mumbai today. Officers and staff of PIB, Accountant General and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) were present on the occasion.
Dr. Wagh informed the audience that remarkable progress has been made in global tobacco control since MPOWER was introduced a decade ago as a tool to help implement the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
Elaborating on the nature of tobacco use, causes, harmful effects and remedial measures, Dr. Wagh said: Tobacco causes 1 death every 8 seconds in India and 5,000 children begin consuming tobacco every day. Unlike in earlier days, adolescent girls have started smoking, which is a very bad sign. Various reasons like learning from role models, peer pressure, stress, desire for mood elevation, curiosity, urge to appear sophisticated and need for relaxation after hard work result in people taking up tobacco consumption. Over 14% children use some form of tobacco and over 34% of children are unaware of its harmful effects. Tobacco contains 4,000 harmful chemicals, some of which are Nicotine, Ammonia, Cadmium, Stearic acid, Methanol, Carbon monoxide, Butane.
Due to tobacco use, various life-threatening illnesses occur. The main diseases among them are Plaque in coronary Artery, Heart disease, Smoker’s cough-inflamed bronchial tube, Dental problems, Damage of gums, Staining of teeth, Premature attrition and losing of teeth, Cancers of mouth, lip cancer and cheek cancer.
Smoking is not as “in” thing as it is made out to be; 7 out of 10 girls don’t like dating smokers, 9 out of 10 girls don’t find smokers attractive, 8 out of 10 are not interested in marrying smokers.
The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 or COTPA, was passed in 2003 and came into force from 2008. However, tobacco use cannot be completely curbed with legislative measures alone; awareness and conscious efforts by society and users are necessary to remove the vicious grip of tobacco over society.
Director General (West Zone), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Shri R.N. Mishra; Additional Director General (Western Region), M/o I&B, Shri D. J. Narain and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.