World No Tobacco Day or Anti-Tobacco Day was created by the members of WHO on 31st May, 1987; with an aim to create awareness about its epidemic, related diseases and preventive measures. As per WHO data, over 1.1 billion people smoked tobacco in 2015 across the globe. It also stated that tobacco kills half of its users and the figure is more than 7 million people each year. Approx. 80% of 1.1 billion smokers live in under-developed and developing countries. Not only it affects smokers but non-smokers as well to a large extent resulting in severe cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer and respiratory disorders. Tobacco smoke affects secondhand-smokers when people burn tobacco products like water-pipes, cigarettes and bidis in public places, restaurants, offices, etc.
National Family Health Survey (NFHS II, 1998-99) revealed that tobacco use in India was approx. 37% among the population of 15 years and above. It is the leading cause of death, illness and impoverishment. Tobacco consumption can lead to innumerable health diseases. Some of them are -
- Macular Degeneration and Blindness
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Weak Bone Density leading to Fractures, Osteoporosis and Joints pain
- Lung Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Birth Defects
- Fertility Issues
- Gum Diseases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Cardiovascular Disorders
- Cervix Cancer
- Liver Cancer
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Premature skin ageing
- Reduced physical fitness
Ways to Quit Tobacco
On this Anti-Tobacco Day, let’s strive to fight it together. Here are some of the tips which might be helpful.
- Nicotine replacement therapy.
- Try mint or sugarless gums or candies to ditch the craving.
- Avoid situations which trigger tobacco desire.
- Try nicotine patches, inhalers or nasal sprays.
- Involve yourself in any physical activities of your choice.
- Practice techniques like meditation and yoga which help keep stress at bay.
- Consult an expert if required.
Always remember that quitting tobacco requires both mental and physical effort but it’s worth it. Studies have shown that just within one year of quitting a person’s risk of developing heart diseases drops. Within 5 years the risk of developing mouth, throat and bladder cancer also reduces to half. Understand the value of life, stay healthy and keep motivating others for the same as well.
Better quit the evil, before it gets too late!