Can India’s young adults quit smoking?

By Dr Sheh Rawat
May 31, 2021

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Tobacco became one of the biggest global threats and a leading cause of death and disability in the world. The constant rise in tobacco consumption statistics, make India the world’s largest population of smokers.

Smoking has become a social behaviour by young adults and about 56% of minors fall into the group of consuming cigarettes or other forms of tobacco with peer influence and curiosity being the major factors of influencing them to initiate smoking. 

It is believed that India sells over 400 brands with over 150 flavors targeting the youth aggressively, leading to subsequent habit formation in them. Tobacco now being abundantly available at a cheaper cost in the market along with other forms of products like Cigars, Pipes, E-Cigarettes, Hookahs, etc.

The smoke released from these products has a complex chemical blend of tobacco and its additives. Nicotine is primarily responsible for a person’s dependence or addiction to tobacco products. It is a poison that can kill a person by paralyzing the breathing muscles if taken in large doses. Likewise, there are more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and over 70 are known to cause cancer. Some of these components also cause heart and lung diseases that can be fatal.

The chemicals weaken the immune system of the body, making it difficult to fight against cancer and damage or change a cell’s DNA leading to uncontrolled cell growth causing different types of cancer like nasopharynx, larynx, paranasal sinuses, pharynx, nasal cavity, lip, mouth, esophagus, and bladder. It has also been shown to develop cancers of the pancreas, ovary, cervix, colorectum, stomach, kidney, and some types of leukemia.

With tobacco being one of the major health concerns, government has enacted various tobacco control measures for youth smokers; like no tobacco sales to individuals under the age of 18, no minors handling or selling tobacco products and ban of tobacco sale within 100 yards of educational institutions. In-spite of such strict laws there are youngsters smoking or being involved in the sales of it. It is important to revisit the tobacco control laws and address the existing barriers. This will ensure that youth cessation occurs early, preventing the disease or death caused by tobacco use.

Creating awareness through media campaigns and environmental changes, such as increasing the price of tobacco products, making all work and public places smoke-free and counselling regarding smoking cessation into medical consultations can help us fight this menace of the society.

In the end, I would like to sum up with an age old adage - “Where there is a will, there is a way,”and will is generated through awareness.

World No Tobacco Day focuses on spreading awareness about the dangers of using tobacco and how a number of health problems can be averted when one quits smoking, or better tackled by doctors. It gives a fresh opportunity to the tobacco users to determine to quit and lead a healthier life.

 

By Dr Sheh Rawat is a Senior Consultant - Radiation Oncology at American Oncology Institute, Hisar

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News Network
October 5,2021

Chandigarh, Oct 5: Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday said he will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the evening and will raise with him the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

Channi, who along with some ministers and Congress legislators held a silent protest at Gandhi Smarak Bhawan here, said the violence in Lakhimpur Kheri reminds him of the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh tragedy.

Eight people died and several others were injured on Sunday in the bloodiest clash since the farmers' protest over the Centre's agri laws began last year.

Four of the dead were farmers, allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers travelling to welcome Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to an event in the area.

The others were BJP workers and their driver who were allegedly pulled out of the vehicles and lynched. Two cars were set on fire.

Channi alleged that the “killing” of the farmers was “intentional”.

He said he will be meeting the Union home minister at 6.30 pm and will raise the issue of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident with him.

Slamming the BJP government at the Centre, he said it should not force the country's youth to look at martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and Shahid Udham Singh for again “restoring” democracy in the country.

Channi said the Lakhimpur Kheri incident was “painful” and demanded that the three controversial farm laws should be repealed immediately.

“The way an SUV mows down peaceful farmers from behind and kills them and all this which happened was intentional,” Channi alleged, apparently referring to a video clip purportedly showing an SUV mowing down farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.

He alleged that a BJP leader had earlier told farmers that they would not be spared. “And then they (farmers) were killed intentionally. It was brutal.”

He said the incident reminded of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy wherein General Dyer had ordered his troops to fire at peaceful civilians.

“Today, the same has been done with the farmers,” he added.

“It is necessary to recognise the voice of people. The governments in democracy should work according to the will of the people,” Channi said.

“Today farmers are upset and they are dying. Considering this, these (farm) laws should be repealed immediately,” he said.

He said incidents like in Lakhimpur Kheri should be stopped.

“(Narendra) Modi ji should stop his BJP people and the RSS. It will not work in the country,” he said.

On the issue of detention of Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in Uttar Pradesh, Channi said, “This is too much. It is unacceptable.”

“Today, the blood of all the countrymen is boiling,” he said.

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Agencies
October 3,2021

A bomb targeted the entrance of a mosque in the Afghan capital on Sunday leaving a “number of civilians dead,” a Taliban spokesman said.

The blast struck near the entrance of the Eid Gah Mosque in Kabul where a memorial service was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

“I heard the sound of an explosion near the Eid Gah Mosque followed by gun firing,” Abdullah, a nearby shopkeeper, told a western news agency, adding that the Taliban blocked the road shortly before the blast struck.

There was no immediately claim of responsibility for the attack. However, since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, attacks by ISIL fighters against them have increased. The rise has raised the possibility of a wider conflict between the two groups.

ISIL maintains a strong presence in the eastern province of Nangarhar and considers the Taliban an enemy. It has claimed several attacks against them, including several killings in the provincial capital of Jalalabad. Attacks in Kabul have so far been rare.

On Friday, Taliban fighters raided an ISIL hideout just north of Kabul in Parwan province. The raid came after an ISIL roadside bomb wounded four Taliban fighters in the area.
 

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News Network
October 11,2021

Kalaburgi, Oct 11: People living in and around Chincholi in Kalaburagi district woke up to a mild earthquake of 2.5 magnitude on the richter scale, barely 24 hours after the first jolt was felt. However, there was no loss of life or damage to any property, officials said.

The quake hit Gadikeshwar village and its surrounding areas, where people panicked and rushed out of their homes, they said.

According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre, the epicentre was Maniyarpalli village in Sangareddy district in Telangana, which is located "very close to Karnataka".

"The epicentre was 1.9 km North East of Shivarampur village in Chincholi Taluk of Kalaburagi," the KSNDMC said in a statement. This is the fourth tremor in the North Karnataka region in the last 11 days. The first two tremors on October 1 and 5 occurred near Basavakalyan in Bidar district, which is in a close proximity to Latur and Killari in neighbouring Maharashtra, which had faced the worst earthquake in September 1993 killing several people.

It is learnt that the Kalaburagi district administration has written to the Mines and Geology Department to study the spate of tremors in the region. 

Already the Karnataka Mineral Administration department has instructed its geologists to study the phenomena and ascertain whether there was any disturbed area in terms of geological events in the past. The department has also decided to carry out awareness drive to deal with a situation in the event of some major untoward incident.

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