12 lakh die of tobacco-related illness in India every year: Experts - Hindustan Times
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12 lakh die of tobacco-related illness in India every year: Experts

May 31, 2023 12:37 AM IST

According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), nearly one- fifth of students aged 13-15 years are using tobacco products in India. The survey revealed that 38% of cigarettes, 47% of bidi and 52% of smokeless tobacco users picked up the habit before their 10th birthday.

LUCKNOW: Despite rules, tobacco consumption was still an issue as even minors were getting addicted to it, said experts on Tuesday, while sharing their concern a day before the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).

Tobacco smoke emits harmful gases and chemical substances, in which nicotine and tar are prominent. (Pic for representation)
Tobacco smoke emits harmful gases and chemical substances, in which nicotine and tar are prominent. (Pic for representation)

According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS), nearly one- fifth of students aged 13-15 years are using tobacco products in India. The survey revealed that 38% of cigarettes, 47% of bidi and 52% of smokeless tobacco users picked up the habit before their 10th birthday, said Bhavna B Mukhopadhyay, chief executive, Voluntary Health Association of India, while addressing a press conference on Tuesday.

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“The Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2016-2017 says about 27 crore people consume tobacco in our country and about 12 lakh people die every year due to tobacco-related illness. The average age of starting tobacco use in India is 18.7 years. Men start using tobacco at a younger age than women. Tobacco can cause 25 types of diseases and about 40 types of cancer, in which the major ones are mouth cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer and brain tumour,” said Prof Surya Kant, head of the department of respiratory medicine, King George’s Medical University.

“Tobacco smoke emits harmful gases and chemical substances, in which nicotine and tar are prominent. In all, 70 chemical substances have been found to be carcinogenic but these facts are ignored by those consuming tobacco,” said Dr Abhishek Shukla, secretary general, Association of International Doctors.

“Smoking bidi is more harmful than cigarette. Due to the low amount of nicotine in bidi, nicotine addicts need it again and again. In our country, addiction to smoking is more in men as compared to women,” said Dr Surya Kant.

“One reason for infertility among women is smoking which can also cause pre-mature delivery, in case a pregnant woman consumes tobacco during pregnancy,” said Dr Amita Shukla, senior gynaecologist, SC Trivedi Memorial Trust hospital.

When someone smokes, 30% of the smoke of bidi or cigarette goes to the lungs of the smoker and 70% remains in the surrounding environment, which affects the second hand smokers or those smoking indirectly, according to doctors.

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