Express News Service
GUNTUR: Ramana (name changed), a 49-year-old man, suffered severe health complications when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic.
Though he was saved, the doctors suggested that he quit smoking as his lungs were severely affected.
Ramana has been smoking for the past 25 years. Despite trying hard, Ramana couldn’t quit smoking. His health got severely affected and he died within six months after being discharged from the hospital.
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The most prevalent form of tobacco use in India is smokeless tobacco and commonly used products are khaini, gutkha, betel quid with tobacco, and zarda. Smoking forms of tobacco are beedi, cigarette and hookah.
Tobacco use is a major risk factor for four main non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and diabetes.
Impact on environment
The harmful effects of the tobacco industry on the environment are vast and growing, adding unnecessary pressure to our planet’s already scarce resources and fragile ecosystems.
Tobacco growing, manufacturing and use poisons our water, soil, beaches and streets with chemicals, toxic waste, cigarette butts, including microplastics, and e-cigarette waste.
Based on the official reports of the WHO, about 600 million trees are being chopped down and over 22 billion tonnes of water are being used to make cigarettes worldwide annually. And during which, over 80 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide is being released into the air, raising the global temperature.
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So the United Nations has decided to address the adverse impact tobacco consumption has on the world and set the theme of the World No-Tobacco Day 2022, May 31, as ‘Tobacco is killing us and our planet’ and raised a campaign to educate the people about harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use on humans and planet earth.
“A real change can be achieved only when people realise how they are causing irrevocable damage to their health and environment,” said Dr Uma Jyothi, a psychologist.She said that smokers can’t easily quit smoking even if they try hard for the same.
“For such people, counselling and nicotine bars are very helpful. Several people are now getting help from the Smoking Cessation Centre set up at the Guntur Government General Hospital. As many as 7,943 people visited the centre in 2021, and over 700 benefited from it so far,” she said.