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
November 23,2021

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Kuwait City, Nov 23: Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid has been reappointed prime minister, state media said on Tuesday, and tasked with forming a cabinet that would be the Gulf OPEC oil producer's third this year in a domestic political standoff.

State news agency KUNA said Sheikh Sabah, prime minister since late 2019, was reappointed by an emiri order issued by Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The government had resigned on Nov. 8 in the standoff with the elected parliament.

Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah last week temporarily handed over some of his main constitutional duties to the crown prince, his designated successor, including naming the prime minister and swearing in the cabinet.  

Before doing so, the emir had accepted the government's resignation as part of measures to end a months-long deadlock between the government and opposition lawmakers. He also issued an amnesty pardoning political dissidents to defuse the row.

Several opposition MPs had wanted to question Sheikh Sabah on various issues, including the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and corruption, despite a motion in March that had granted him temporary immunity.

The row had paralysed legislative work, hindering fiscal reform efforts, including a debt law that would allow Kuwait to tap international markets.

State finances are set to improve this year thanks to higher oil prices, after the coronavirus downturn led to a budget deficit of 15.4% of GDP in the 2020/21 fiscal year.

Kuwait has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, including the power to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior government officials.

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News Network
November 15,2021

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New Delhi, Nov 15: The Nainital home of Congress leader Salman Khurshid was vandalised and set on fire by extremists today, days after his new book on Ayodhya sparked a controversy by drawing a parallel between radical "Hindutva" and radical Muslim groups.

Visuals shared by Mr Khurshid on Facebook show tall flames, charred doors and shattered window panes at his Nainital home. Two men are seen trying to douse the fire by throwing water.

Sharing the visuals, the Congress leader said in a post, "I hoped to open these doors to my friends who have left this calling card. Am I still wrong to say this cannot be Hinduism?"

The former Union Minister has been under the spotlight ever since the launch of his new book, ''Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times''. At the centre of the controversy is a passage that reads, "Sanatan Dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints were being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to the jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years."

Hitting out, the BJP said Mr Khurshid's remark has hurt sentiments of Hindus and alleged that the Congress is resorting to "communal politics" to corner Muslim votes.

Soon after, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi sought to differentiate between "Hinduism" and "Hindutva" and the BJP, in a scathing response, said Mr Gandhi and his party have a "pathological hatred" of Hinduism.

Mr Khurshid also faced some criticism from within his party, with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad terming his "Hindutva" parallel "exaggeration".

"We may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology but comparing it with ISIS and Jihadist Islam is factually wrong and exaggeration," Mr Azad said.

A Delhi-based lawyer has also filed a complaint against Mr Khurshid, also an eminent jurist. 

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News Network
November 15,2021

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Mangaluru, Nov 15: Many parts of South Karnataka, including the coastal region, continued to receive showers owing to the low pressure area formed over the Bay of Bengal. Since Saturday night, four persons, including an 11-year-old boy, were killed in house collapse incidents reported from Hiriyur and Pandavapura taluks.

Three of a family from Kaarobayyanahatti in Hiriyur taluk, Chitradurga district, were killed after a portion of their house wall, weakened by sustained wet weather, collapsed on them. While Channakeshava (26) and his wife Soumya (20) were buried alive under the debris, Kyasanna (55) died en route to the Chitradurga government hospital. Soumya was three months pregnant.

In Kennalu village on Pandavapura taluk, Mandya district, Gagan, son of Manjunath, suffered grievous injuries when the house wall caved in on him. He died while being shifted to KR Hospital in Mysuru. Four livestock have also died in the incident.

Pandavapura town has recorded a massive 19 cm of rain in the last 24 hours ending (8 am on Sunday). Saturday night showers have rendered several roads inPandavapura, KR Pet and Srirangapatna taluks unmotorable. A portion of the 300-year-old Senthil fort near Sriranganathswamy Temple in Srirangapatna has caved in.

Mysuru city and parts of the district witnessed sharp showers on Saturday night. Bogadi lake has breached flooding surrounding areas. More than 20 houses have suffered partial damages in the taluk.

Several full-grown trees have been uprooted on Diwan’s Road and Gokulam. Saturday night showers left many houses, and temples near Kukkarahalli lake flooded.

Mysuru city received 6 cm of rain while Haliyuru in KR Nagar taluk recorded 8 cm of rain, according to Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre.

Chamarajanagar district continued to experience the inclement weather. Suvarnawati reservoir in the taluk has reached its full reservoir level following heavy rain in its catchment areas in the last few days. Paddy crop has been damaged at several places in Yelandur taluk. A boulder has slipped on to the road to Male Mahadeshwara.

Untimely rain has left coffee growers in distress in Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan districts. They are finding it tough to dry the beans.

Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department has predicted heavy showers, coupled with thunder and lightning in all three coastal districts for the next three days.

The IMD has sounded an orange alert for Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada till Nov 17.

Several districts in the state are likely to witness moderate to heavy showers for next two days due to the low pressure area over Andaman in Bay of Bengal. 

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