Doctors, activists stand together against tobacco use – Times of India

ALLAHABAD: A seminar was organised on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day at Allahabad Medical Association. Every year on May 31 WHO and partners everywhere mark World No Tobacco Day highlighting the health risks associated with tobacco use. They advocate effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption. Tobacco use is currently responsible for killing of six million people worldwide.

Oncologist, Dr B K Mishra said the theme for World No Tobacco Day 2014 is to “Raise taxes on tobacco”. Research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower income groups and in preventing young people from smoking. Tobacco kills up to half of its users.”

A tax hike that increases tobacco prices by 10% decreases tobacco consumption by about 4% in high-income countries and by up to 8% in most low and middle-income countries. Furthermore, increasing excise taxes on tobacco is considered to be the most cost-effective tobacco control measure.

The World Health Report 2010 indicated that a 50% increase in tobacco excise taxes would generate a little more than US$ 1.4 billion in additional funds in 22 low income countries. If allocated to health, government health spending in these countries could increase by up to 50%.

Over 40% children have at least one smoking parent. Secondly hand smoke causes more than 6,00, 000 premature deaths per year. In 2004, children accounted for 28% of the deaths attributable to second hand smoke.

Studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. For example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 38% of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease and only 27% knew that it causes stroke. Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counseling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.

Doctors say that there are a lot of ways to quit smoking and many resources to help a person. Family members, friends, and coworkers may be supportive or encouraging but the desire and commitment to quit must be one’s own.

Most people who have been able to successfully quit smoking made at least one unsuccessful attempt in the past. Chairman Blood Bank, Dr Ashok Agrawal distributed cancer awareness book in the blood bank campus. In the meeting Dr Shardool Singh, Dr Abhilasha Chaturvedi, Dr RKS Chauhan, Dr Yuganter Pandey, Dr Neeraj Tripathi, Dr V K Gupta, Dr Ashok Kumar also made an appeal to public to stop all tobacco addiction.

Meanwhile, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, a meeting was held at Johnstonganj. Speaking on the occasion, social activist Dukanji urged youth to stop tobacco use.

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