• Welcome to the world of nicotine, known for its addictive tendencies; chances of addiction are greater in the young.
• Giving the heady feeling are 4000 potentially toxic chemicals
found in cigarette smoke, that get sucked into the system with a single puff.
• Tobacco lowers immunity
by disabling neutrophils, white blood cells. This increases the chances of falling prey to a host of infections.
• The function of heart and lungs
are on a downslide following tobacco use.
• Prepare to face the fourteen- fold risk of dying due to cancer
and a double risk of a heart attack
. Smoking accounts for 90% of lung cancer cases.
In a nutshell, it is an invitation to a 'sickening
' world Beedis make Baddies India produces the largest amount of tobacco in the world
, at a staggering 700 million Kilograms annually.
A new report has also suggested that nearly 100 million people from the poor and illiterate class smoke hand rolled cigarettes, called 'beedis'. More than 200,000 tuberculosis deaths
are caused due to beedi smoking.
According to Health Secretary Naresh Dayal, nearly 85% of the beedi in the world is produced in India with 290,000 beedi making units. "Beedi is the most widely used form of tobacco. Beedi smokers with tuberculosis are at three times higher risk of death compared to TB patients who are non-smokers," Dayal said.
The people working in beedi factories also suffer serious health issues.
Beedis and chewed tobacco form a sizable portion of the tobacco use in India, with cigarettes taking 20% of the market. Beedis are known to promote smoking among children
between 8-10 years, especially from the tribal areas.
Nearly 24 lakh people
are battling cancer
in India attributed to the effect of tobacco, according a WHO estimate. Impact of Advertising on Youth
A study conducted in India by researchers from The University of Texas School of Public Health has blamed advertising and marketing of tobacco products for the increase in the consumption of tobacco among children, even as early as 11 yrs.
Cheryl Perry, Ph.D., professor and regional dean of The University of Texas School of Public Health and Team leader of the study said, "As India becomes more westernized, more teens will use tobacco."
Seconding this opinion, Melissa Stigler, Ph.D., assistant professor at the UT School of Public Health and study co-author, said, "The current study is the first in India to demonstrate a strong, dose-response relationship between exposure and receptivity to tobacco advertising and promotions and tobacco use among Indian youth. These associations clearly suggest a need to strengthen policy and program-based interventions to reduce tobacco use among youth in India."
According to Stigler, following a ban on tobacco advertising in India in 2004, tobacco companies found new ways
to publicize. Sponsorship of events by tobacco product companies began. Not only that, lifestyle malls began to house mobile smoking lounges, providing cool comfort to the smokers, thus abetting an unhealthy trend. Youth were also seen sporting 'T' shirts with logo of tobacco companies. Clear the Air
A new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has warned the loss of one million people by 2010 due to smoking. To buck this looming threat, it is imperative to give out the right message to impressionable minds.
We need to discourage publicity
and advertisement of tobacco products. Education and awareness of risks is key to keeping out tobacco; awareness campaigns in schools and colleges will help clear the air.
With the powerful influence of media and films, actors have a powerful role to play with their larger- than- life image. Usage of tobacco products, especially cigarette smoking, is associated with style, which children and youth find captivating. Such impressions wreck havoc, for it is said that 52 per cent of children take to smoking, in an effort to ape celebrities.
Today, many bollywood film actors have become brand ambassadors for anti-smoking initiatives.
Governments and policy makers must enforce a ban on advertisements for tobacco products. Surrogate advertising must be shunned with vehemence. Taxes on tobacco must be increased, all of which can give the right environment for the citizens of tomorrow.