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
June 1,2021

Bengaluru, June 1: The total number of active Covid-19 cases in Karnataka fell below the three lakh mark, as the state on Tuesday reported a further decline in fresh infections at 14,304 and 464 fatalities.

While the total number of cases stood at 26,18,735, the toll was 29,554. The day also saw 29,271 discharges, continuing to outnumber the fresh cases.

Out of the 14,304 new cases reported on Tuesday, 3,418 were from Bengaluru Urban, as the city saw 5,483 discharges and 276 deaths. Cumulatively 26,18,735 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 29,554 deaths and 22,90,861 discharges, the Health department said in a bulletin.

The total number of active cases is 2,98,299. While the positivity rate stood at 12.30 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 3.24 per cent.

Of the 464 deaths reported on Tuesday, 276 were from Bengaluru Urban, Belagavi (19), Mysuru (15), Ballari (14), Shivamogga (13), Bengaluru Rural and Hassan (11), followed by others.

Among the districts where new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 3,418, Mysuru 1,153, Hassan 1,127, Belagavi 891, Tumakuru 769, Udupi 735, Dakshina Kannada 536, followed by others. While DK recorded five deaths, Udupi reported three deaths.

Bengaluru Urban district headed the list of positive cases, with a total of 11,66,647, followed by Mysuru 1,43,968 and Tumakuru 1,04,134. Among discharges too, Bengaluru Urban was on top with 10,09,322, followed by Mysuru 1,27,723 and Tumakuru 91,392.

A total of over 2,98,53,184 samples have been tested so far, out of which 1,16,224 were done on Tuesday alone. 

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News Network
June 2,2021

Bengaluru, June 2: All export-oriented businesses in Karnataka will be allowed to operate from Thursday, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said, even as he indicated that strict Covid-19 regulations will continue after June 7, when the current lockdown is scheduled to end. 

“The export-oriented businesses will be allowed from Thursday,” Yediyurappa said. Asked if the lockdown will end, he said: “No, no. We will extend (the lockdown) and take some strict measures.”

He added that he had meetings lined up to discuss what should be done going forward. 

“On the whole, coronavirus has not come under complete control. It’s still high in rural areas,” Yediyurappa said. “Today evening, I’m discussing with everybody. Today or tomorrow, we will take a call (on lockdown). I’m discussing this with senior officials today,” he added. 

He also said that he would announce another Covid-19 relief package “in another two days”. 

The Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended that the lockdown be continued in Karnataka after June 7. The opinion seems divided among Yediyurappa’s Cabinet colleagues.

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June 10,2021

Patna, June 10: Covid-19 death toll in Bihar was on Wednesday revised drastically upwards by the state health department which put the total number of fatalities caused by the pandemic at 9,429.

According to the department, which had till the previous day stated the number of deaths to be under 5,500, as many as 3,951 deaths have been added to the toll after verification.

However, it was not specified as to when these additional deaths took place though a breakup was provided for all 38 districts.

Going by the fresh figures, the number of lives lost in the second wave is close to 8,000 and a nearly six times increase in the death toll since April.

Patna district bore the brunt of the outbreak, accounting for a total of 2,303 deaths. Muzaffarpur was a distant second with 609 fatalities.

Patna also accounted for the highest number of 1,070 "additional deaths reported after verification", followed by Begusarai (316), Muzaffarpur (314), East Champaran (391), and Chief Minister Nitish Kumars native Nalanda (222).

Altogether 7,15,179 people have been infected in the state so far of whom more than five lakhs caught the contagion in the last couple of months.

The health department has also revised the number of recovered persons from 7,01,234 on the previous day to 6,98,397.

The recovery rate, which was 98.70 per cent on the previous day, has also come down to 97.65 per cent following the revision in statistics which could provide fresh ammunition to the opposition, which has been alleging that the government was fudging figures to hide its failure in handling the pandemic.

Nonetheless, the state seemed to be doing well after more than a month of lockdown as, according to the health department, only 20 deaths and 589 fresh cases were reported on the day.

At present, there are 7,353 active coronavirus cases in the state.

The situation could improve further with the recent wave on the wane and vaccination drive picking up. More than 1.21 lakh people got their jabs during the day taking the total number, so far, to 1.14 crore. 

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