Experts warn against using tobacco – Times of India

PUNE: Tobacco is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally. The impact of tobacco usage depends on the number of years the person is addicted to tobacco and intensity of usage. Starting tobacco usage or smoking cigarettes at an early age and smoking cigarettes higher in tar increases the risk of disease by manifold, say experts. World No Tobacco Day was observed on May 31.

“Cigarette smoke contains several carcinogenic products. There are roughly 45 carcinogens in cigarette smoke. However, cessation of smoking can repair the damage gradually,” said medical oncologist Minish Jain of Ruby Hall Clinic’s Cancer Care Centre.

Elaborating, Jain said, “Long term smoking is responsible for pulmonary damage leading to chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) including emphycema and chronic bronchitis. Smoking also increases the chances of heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease besides increasing blood cholesterol level leading to atherosclerosis. Smokers are also at an increased risk of chronic kidney disease, influenza, periodontitis, gingival recession and white mucosal lesions.”

Tobacco is linked to susceptibility of infectious diseases like tuberculosis. Incidence of impotence is 85% higher in male smokers than non smokers. Smoking is harmful to ovaries causing female infertility and tobacco use is a significant factor for miscarriages among pregnant smokers. Smoking can also cause psychological issues such as mood disorder. Usage of tobacco can create cognitive dysfunction.

“Tobacco has been proven to be a confirmed cancer causing substance by WHO nearly 30 years back and there is no safe form or safe dosage of tobacco in the world. Comprehensive tobacco control is the single most cost effective, economically viable and practical approach to prevent this tragedy,” Jain said.

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