World No Tobacco Day 2019
Every year 31st May is observed as “World no Tobacco Day “throughout the world under the banner of World Health Organisation. This event is an opportunity to raise awareness about the deadly effects of tobacco use and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form. The WHO has chosen the theme “Tobacco and lung health” for WNTD 2019. The main objective is to create awareness about the negative impact of smoking and second hand smoke (SHS) on our lungs from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases. In the last few years smoking has been on decline in Nagaland unlike smokeless tobacco which is on the rise. But the reality is that many smokers are not fully aware of the consequences of their habits and they are least aware that their action is harmingtheir loved ones and other non- smokers. Both smokers and second hand smokers can suffer from the following common lung diseases-
Lung cancer – Smoking is responsible for two third of lug cancer cases while not denying the role increasingenvironmental pollution. In India lung cancer accounts for 6.9 per cent of all new cancer cases and 9.3 per cent of all cancer deaths. To reduce the disease burden of lung cancer we need to bring down the prevalence rate of smoking.
Chronic respiratory diseases – Smoking/SHSare the main causes of Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The risk of developing COPD is more in Individual who started to smoke at an earlier age as smoking significantly slow the lung development. COPD cases are increasing every year and India has now 55.3 million cases. It is not only a major of deaths but it is also major cause of loss of productivity and quality of life. Smoking /SHS can also exacerbate asthma and it can lead to frequent lower respiratory Infection in children.
Smoking and Tuberculosis – The association between smoking and TB is well known. Smoking increases the chance of TB infection from latent TB, reduces the efficacy of TB treatments and also increases the chance of relapse after completion of treatment. Eradication of TB by 2025 may be difficult unless we bring down the prevalence of smoking in India.
The call for action- In spite of the descending trend of smoking in Nagaland there are still somealarming pictures due the following facts. 68 per cent of people are exposed to SHS in their homes where parents or somebody smokes.22 per cent who visit public places are exposed to SHS and 27 per cent of the people are still exposed to SHS in their work placesincluding government offices. So, there is a need to upscale the awareness and enforcement activities. There is already a law which bans smoking in public places but it is still not strictly enforced even in government office. The need of the hour is political and administrative will to enforce the tobacco control law and sustained awareness by the concerned departments, Church and NGOs. Let’s put our efforts together and make our state a healthier place to live.
Dr C Tetseo BDS, PGD HP