Can India’s young adults quit smoking?

By Dr Sheh Rawat
May 31, 2021

youthsmoking.jpg

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

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 6,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 6: Pitching for more efficient policing, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said cybercrime, drug mafia, dark web are "new challenges" and such new crimes need to be cracked down by using new technology and advanced equipment. He said there has to be a dashboard for DG and all SPs, for them to regularly monitor the cases.

"There are new challenges like cybercrime, drug mafia, cracking the dark web, all these new kinds of crimes have to be cracked down by using new technology, using advanced equipment," Bommai said.

Speaking to reporters after inaugurating a conference of senior police officers here, he said, Karnataka police is known for its efficiency and has a good name across the country, and stressed the need to continue the tradition with excellent efficiency.

"Law and order situation and crimes should be completely under control, and investigation should happen in an impartial manner," he said, highlighting the need for people-friendly policing and improving the crime reporting system. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, DG & IGP Praveen Sood, senior officials of the home department and senior police officials were present.

Stating that there has to be a dashboard for DG and all SPs for them to regularly monitor the cases, Bommai said measures should be taken to ensure adequate punishment for the accused who have been charge-sheeted, every case has to be analysed, court observations have to be taken note of to see to that things are rectified in the future investigations. "...there should be no relationship with any agents or criminals at any level. All measures should be taken to put an end to gambling and there should be no collusion with those involved in illegal sand mining or marketing," he added.

The Chief Minister said for reforming the police system in the state, a command centre was coming up, also approval has been given for six forensic labs. "A new Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) battalion and infrastructure is being developed, jail infrastructure is being improved, fire force equipment are being modernised and coastal police are being provided with equipment like high-speed boats," he added.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 19,2021

Hallegere Family.jpg

Bengaluru, Sept 19: Hallegere Shankar, the aggrieved editor of a Kannada newspaper has held his deceased wife responsible for his family tragedy, wherein four members committed suicide and allowed a child to starve to death. 

In an eight-page police complaint on Saturday, Hallegere Shankar stated that his wife, Bharathi, 51, was the root cause of endless disputes in the family. He alleged that she didn’t allow their daughters to live with their husbands, thereby wrecking their marital lives. 

On Friday evening, Shankar’s wife, daughters Sinchana, 34, Sindhurani, 31, and son Madhusagar, 25, were found hanging in the family’s home in Thigalarapalya, off Magadi Road. Sindhurani’s nine-month-old baby boy was found dead on a bed, apparently starved to death. Sinchana’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was rescued from a state of near-starvation. 

Police suspect that the three women killed themselves on September 13 and Madhusagar ended his life two days later because his body was not as decomposed as the other three corpses. 

In the complaint, Shankar made several allegations against his family members but laid the most blame on his deceased wife. 

He stated that she often egged their daughters to stay away from their husbands. Whenever the daughters complained of petty issues in their marital lives, Bharathi supported them instead of counselling them. Both Sinchana and Sindhurani had been living with their parents for the past one and a half years. Twenty days ago, Sindhurani allegedly consumed some pills and later filed a police complaint against her husband, Srikanth. Sinchana had similar fights with her husband Praveen Kumar. 

A fight for Rs 10 lakh

Madhusagar wanted to open a bar in Ittamadu and had spent lakhs on setting up the business. He got the excise licence and had asked for his father’s signature on some papers. Shankar refused, resulting in another fight. 

On September 12, Shankar had a heated argument with his family over two issues. He had asked his wife and son to give him Rs 10 lakh for building an ashram. They said no. All the money was in his wife’s custody, and she gave it to him whenever needed. 

The same day, Bharathi and Sindhurani quarrelled with Shankar over holding the sacramental ear-piercing ceremony for the infant. Fed up with these issues, Shankar left home in a huff and returned on Friday evening only to discover the deaths. 

After his father left home, Madhusagar tried calling him and texted him, promising to pay Rs 10 lakh but Shankar chose not to respond. 

All the five bodies were handed over to the family on Saturday after the post mortem at Victoria Hospital. The last rites were performed at the Sumanahalli crematorium. 

While police are waiting for autopsy reports, a senior officer quoted doctors as saying that the nine-month-old baby had starved to death. 

IAS/IPS dreams

Shankar’s deceased daughters, Sinchana and Sindhurani, had been preparing for UPSC exams and aspired to get into IAS/IPS, police sources say. 

Sinchana was an MBA graduate while Sindhurani had studied engineering. Their brother, Madhusagar, also an engineer, worked for a nationalised bank. 

Police are checking the text messages and phone calls of the four deceased persons and questioning the relatives to verify Shankar’s allegations. 

Investigators questioned Shankar’s sons-in-law, Kumar and Srikanth, about when and why their wives left them and what they had done to bring them back. 

Surviving child stable 

Sinchana and Kumar’s daughter, rescued from a state of near-starvation, is recovering in a hospital. Kumar was horrified to learn that the child went without food for days. Madhusagar, who the police believe took his life two days later, had fed something to the child. The child may not have eaten anything after he also ended his life. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 5,2021

Mangaluru, Sept 5: The coastal district of Dakshina Kannada, which shares its border with Kerala, has recorded 130 fatalities in August, making it the district with highest number of deaths in the state for the said month.

Bengaluru Urban registered 101 Covid deaths in August. 

One in every five Covid deaths in Karnataka has occurred in Dakshina Kannada in August. The district, in its defence, said 29 of those deaths were of patients from other districts, which if taken into account, the coastal district would still tie with the state capital on the districts with most number of deaths for the month.

According to the officials, 59 per cent of the active cases are in Mangaluru city. Also, 66 per cent of the total active cases are in home isolation. The district administration is mulling over filing FIRs against primary contacts who breach quarantine. 

Dr Ashok H, Covid nodal officer for Dakshina Kannada district, said that the positivity rate over the past seven days in the district has dropped to 2.04 per cent and case fatality rate to 1.43 per cent.

"Out of 2,248 active cases, 1,486 (66.1 per cent), are in home isolation, 544 (24.2 per cent) in hospitals and 218 (9.7 per cent) in Covid Care Centres. The reason for higher hospitalisation rate compared to other districts is that we are admitting nursing and paramedical students, who are testing positive, who don't have severe symptoms, to hospitals so that they compulsorily remain isolated," he said.

"We have 32 paramedical and eight medical colleges. We got clusters from there when we screened 7,000-odd students. Sullia also had 8 per cent positivity rate previously for one month but now has only 145 active cases," he added.

Now the focus is on Beltangady taluk which has the next highest active cases with 296.

"Deaths are high because medical colleges like Yenepoya are getting referrals from other districts under Ayushman Bharat-Arogya Karnataka. Earlier we would send them back to their districts but now with the centralised bed management system, deaths of patients from other districts occurring in Mangaluru are being recorded as Dakshina Kannada district's deaths," Dr Ashok said. 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.