World No Tobacco Day 31st May – Threats & Prevention

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I am sure we have all been to the cinema once at least and while sitting there waiting for the movie to start, we have all had to see the tobacco ad featuring Mukesh. When the movie ends and we go back home, fire up Facebook or any other social media app, we see memes regarding the same ad. But in all this, the real message seems to get lost. Which is why every year on 31st May, WHO points out the World No Tobacco Day.

While we have all seen the advertisements on cigarette packets highlighting just how injurious smoking is for the body, but it’s never really discussed in depth and detail why smoking is injurious to the body even though 12% of all cardiovascular diseases are a result of it. So let’s discuss those:

  • Poor vision: Glaucoma, muscular degeneration, cataracts and more vision problems will plague you if you engage in repeated smoking.
  • Lung diseases: It has been observed that people who smoke have a higher chance of getting lung diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia and tuberculosis. Moreover, second hand smokers are also at its risk.
  • Coughing: Smokers experience the infamous ‘smokers cough’ due to constricted airways.
  • Narrowed blood vessels: Nicotine causes blood vessels to shrink which in turn increases the risk of heart attacks, high blood pressure and strokes.
  • COPD: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a common issue seen in smokers, in fact approximately 8 out of 10 cases have been observed to have developed this problem. Additionally, if you have asthma then it will worsen as well.
  • Problems in pregnancy: Prolonged consumption will increase the chances of miscarriage, death of newborn, physical deformities, mental abnormalities along with ear infections and asthma as well.
  • Increase risk of blood clotting: Regular smoking can increase the chances of blood clotting which will then result in Pulmonary embolism, heart stroke and more.
  • Diabetes: Chances of type 2 diabetes are increased due to smoking since it increases insulin resistance in the body. Additionally, if you have diabetes and also smoke, you will have a higher chance of incurring other issues like kidney problems, eye problems, heart attacks and more.
  • Lung cancer: Most lives have been taken due to this disease which is the most prevalent in smokers.

The list is certainly vey long, but there are some measures which can be adapted to curb it’s spread:

  • It’s important to prevent diseases occurring in non smokers and for that measures should be taken to limit their exposure to tobacco smoke by making smoke free workplaces, public places and public transport systems.
  • More policies and laws should be enforced to help people quit the addiction. But these policies should have the participation of qualified health care people and measures should be taken to make the incentive cost free for the addicted. There should also be societal support as well as national toll free number to additionally enforce these measures.
  • Bans should be enforced on tobacco promotion, advertising and sponsorship. Additionally taxes should be raised on tobacco products to make them less appealing and affordable. Of course along with this, more revolutionary methods of packaging of tobacco products should be used so that people don’t reach a relaxation point after seeing the same image multiple times.

The theme of 2018 is ‘Tobacco and Heart disease‘. Joining in on the mission are other global partners like RESOLVE initiatives and Global Hearts. So let’s all pitch in to make the world a better place.