Guwahati: World No Tobacco Day is observed globally on May 31 every year. It is an annual event organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) aimed at raising awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption, and encouraging people to quit smoking.
World No Tobacco Day highlights the risk associated with the use of tobacco and aims to make people understand how it affects smoker, their family, and their community.
This year, the theme for World No Tobacco Day 2023 is “We Need Food, Not Tobacco”. This year the campaign aims to raise awareness about alternative crop production and marketing opportunities for tobacco farmers and encourage them to grow sustainable and nutritious crops.
Tobacco use remains one of the most significant global public health challenges, leading to devastating consequences for both individuals and communities.
There are several behavioural and environmental factors which are associated with the risk of developing cancer, such as – tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, obesity, infections, air pollution, but consumption of tobacco is the primary and the deadliest factor among these.
Dr. Sulaiman Ladhani, Consultant Pulmonologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central said, “Tobacco farming requires a large amount of land, water, and other resources, which could be used for growing food. Tobacco farmers and their families are also frequently exposed to harmful chemicals used in the cultivation and processing of tobacco, which can affect their health and productivity. Tobacco use by farmers can also lead to decreased productivity and poor health, reducing their ability to grow food and maintain food security. Moreover, tobacco use also affects the nutritional status of individuals who use tobacco products.”
Dr. (Prof) GS Moirangthem, Director & CEO of Karkinos Manipur Cancer Institute and Research Centre said, “All killer diseases such as Cancers, Heart Ailments and Stroke etc are caused by Tobacco. Why harm yourself by our own hands? People should stop using Tobacco and its related products right now. The addiction to tobacco is increasing at an alarming rate. There are several factors which can develop cancer, but consumption of tobacco is the primary and the deadliest factor. We at Karkinos Healthcare Manipur believe that as citizens of the country it is our responsibility to encourage users to refrain from tobacco consumption for their good health and the overall well-being of society in the state of Manipur.”
Dr. Rahul Patibandla, Consultant Nephrologist, NephroPlus said, “Being one of the common ill habits among the young crowd, smoking leads to a significant impact on kidneys as well. It can accelerate kidney disease in individuals leading to a decline in kidney function over time. Smokers face a dual risk of developing both lung cancer and kidney cancer depending on the duration and intensity of smoking. Since the disease spreads faster in the lungs, there are possibilities of ignoring the presence of cancerous cells in the lungs of patients with kidney cancer. It’s important to note that the risk of developing lung and kidney cancer is not mutually exclusive. Smokers have a higher risk of developing kidney cancer compared to non-smokers.”
Tobacco is the only preventable cause of cancer. With its epidemic on the rise especially among the young crowd, it is important to change the perception of the individuals consuming tobacco or tobacco-related products.
To change the trajectory of modern health concerns in India, every individual must be educated about the ill effects of tobacco consumption and counselled to quit such life-threatening habits.