‘6.5 lakh deaths in India every year due to smoking’

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 30

Terming tobacco smoking as a giant killer, chest specialist and chairman of the Punjab chapter of Association of Chest Physicians Dr HJ Singh on Monday organised an awareness event a day ahead of World No Tobacco Day.

MD of Ranjit Hospital, Dr Singh revealed that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable diseases and death in India. He said that recent studies observed that smoking already accounts for nearly 6.5 lakh deaths y per year in India and warned that without action, the death toll from smoking could climb still further. He predicted smoking could soon account for 25 per cent of all male deaths and 10 per cent of all female deaths between the age of 30 and 70 years.

Dr Singh said smoking not only lead to lung, breast, colon, head, neck, cervix and bladder cancers but also lead to very serious disease known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). It is a chronic and preventable disease mainly caused by smoking and is major cause of death. In Asia, 15 per cent population is suffering from permanent bronchitis and 25 per cent of COPD, he quoted some studies.

Dr Singh also pointed out that the surveys have shown that majority smokers want to stop smoking, but the quit rate remained very low. He said that will power vs chemical dependency is a difficult fight.

“People who want to quit smoking /tobacco need proper motivation and effective medication that they can make their lives worth living”, he said further adding passive smoking is as dangerous as active smoking. He concluded with a one liner, “Let us say ‘no to tobacco’ and crush the crave!”

World No Tobacco Day is observed around the world every year on May 31. The aim of the day is to inform the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies and what the WHO is doing to fight against the use of tobacco.

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