One in every ten deaths is caused due to consumption of tobacco globally and about 50% of this took place in four countries, where India stands at the top. In fact, the nation has over 14% of the world’s smokers, where deaths due to this practice have increased by 5% and the number only keeps growing, making it a huge burden on life.
The Rise of Tobacco Consumption in India
According to reports by Word Health Organization (WHO), there are about 275 million smokers in India, amongst which 208 million are male smokers, indicating a steep rise of 36% from 1998 to present. As much as 24% of children who are below 16 years of age have used some sort of tobacco product, from which 15% continue to use them. Certain reports even suggest that it is responsible for one in five male deaths and one in twenty female deaths across the country.
A major reason behind the rise of its consumption is their availability at cheap prices. India has become tobacco’s third largest producer, where people can easily gain access to both smoking and smokeless forms like betel quid, gutkha, Zarda, khaini, hookah, bidi, and cigarettes. Considering its threats, imposing an immediate change has become the need of the hour.
Apart from deteriorating health, it leaves a severe impact on the economy of India too, as its consumption decreases productivity, increases costs related to healthcare and causes poverty.
How Smoking Tobacco effects on the body?
People often believe that the harmful effects of tobacco are only experienced by those who smoke. But, exposure to the smoke of cigarettes and bidis, also known as passive smoking can lead to lethal effects. As a matter of fact, tobacco smoke contains 4000 chemicals, of which 250 are regarded as deadly, with 50 triggering cancer.
There cannot be any safe level of passive smoking as:
- This can be a serious risk factor in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases including lung cancer and coronary artery disease. In pregnant women, it results in extremely low birth weight, while it causes sudden deaths in the case of infants.
- Half of the children in India breathe tobacco smoke every day in public places, due to which 28% of death is attributable to passive smoking.
Every citizen holds the right to breathe air free of tobacco smoke. There are laws that protect individuals from passive smoking, don’t harm the business and are able to encourage the users to quit.
Will There Be A Positive Change in Future?
To reduce the number of deaths caused by tobacco, users need to quit. Fortunately, there are few consumers who realize the consequences of tobacco and are open to the idea of quitting. Medication combined with counseling enhances the probability of a consumer who wants to quit will be successful.
In addition to that, many initiatives have been taken by the government through advertisements and warnings signs to significantly reduce the number of people who start using tobacco and increase the total number of those who want to quit.