World No Tobacco Day: 12 crore smoke in India, docs concerned as more adolescents getting addicted
Doctors in the city have raised concerns about more adolescents getting addicted to smoking.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India is home to 12 per cent of the world’s smokers which is 12 crore smokers. More than 10 lakh die due to tobacco consumption each year in India. The staggering data also reveals that 24 per cent of children in India under the age of 16 have used some form of tobacco in the past and 14 per cent are still using tobacco products. Smokeless tobacco is more prevalent when compared to the quantity present in cigarettes or bidis in India. As per National family Health Survey, 44 percent of men in India consume tobacco in some form.
Speaking about the issue, Dr Vaibhav Pandharkar, consultant - respiratory medicine, Columbia Asia Hospital, said, "Adolescents are vulnerable to smoking and becoming addicted to nicotine because they go through rapid hormonal and cognitive changes during their adolescence. They are influenced by cultural, social, familial, and behavioural factors. The factors that lead adolescents to start smoking include cigarette advertisements, stress, low self-esteem and poor academic performance. They might also get influenced by parents, family members and friends who might smoke. People who smoke should remember that smoking puts the lives of others at risk. Passive smoking is one of the reasons for the increasing number of pulmonary and respiratory issues in non-smokers.”
Dr. Ashok Band Bhanage, consultant neurosurgeon, chairman, Kamalnayan Bajaj Cancer Centre, Ruby Hall Clinic said, “People who quit smoking cut their risk of lung cancer by 30 per cent to 50 per cent after 10 years compared to people who continue to smoke. They cut their risk of mouth or oesophagus cancer by half within five years of quitting the habit. Tobacco is one of the primary causes of cancer and heart attack and awareness must be created about the same. Many people from various strata of the society are getting addicted to tobacco in various forms which has an adverse effect on their health. The chemical constituents in cigarettes have a detrimental effect on everything: from the body’s immunity to the functioning of the organs."