Guwahati, Sunday, September 29, 2019
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‘Tobacco – single biggest cause of cancer in the world’
Shambhu Boro
 TEZPUR, Sept 28 - “Tobacco is the single biggest cause of cancer in the world. Tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, and it kills more than 8 million people a year around the world. More than seven million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Around 80% of the 1.1 billion smokers worldwide live in the low and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest. Tobacco use contributes to poverty by diverting household spending from basic needs such as food and shelter to tobacco. This spending behaviour is difficult to curb because tobacco is very addictive.” This was stated by noted physician, Nodal Officer, District Tobacco Control Cell, Sonitpur under the District Health Society, Sonitpur Dr Sunanda Tamuly while taking part in an anti-tobacco awareness programme held at Khelmati High School under Bandarmari Gaon Panchayat in Sonitpur district recently.

Giving a lively power point presentation (PPT) with special focus on the students, Dr Tamuly SAID that the economic costs of tobacco use are substantial and include significant health care costs for treating the disease caused by tobacco use as well as the lost human capital that results from tobacco-attributable morbidity and mortality. Speaking on second-hand smoking, he said that it is smoking that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water-pipes (hookahs). There are more than 7000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.

“Studies show that very few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. For example, the 2015 Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in China revealed that only 26.6% of Chinese adults believe smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counselling and medication can more than double a tobacco user’s chance of successful quitting,” he said adding that illicit trade in tobacco products poses major health, economic and security concerns around the world.

Besides assistant teachers of the school Bunuka Boro, Kunti Rava, Hemanta Sharma, Sumitra Boro, Utpal Nath, Debesh Chowdhury, the Headmistress of the school, Janmoni Devi was also present in the event.

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