53 per cent unsuccessful in attempts to quit smoking

Brittany Mendoza
June 3, 2018

But evidence shows there is an alarming lack of knowledge and awareness that tobacco is a major risk for conditions like stroke and heart attack.

Although thought to be considerably safer than tobacco cigarettes, studies have linked long-term use to heart disease and cancer. People who use tobacco are more likely to have disorders of the cardiovascular system such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, blood clots, strokes, haemorrhages, and aneurysms.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor, Surgical Oncology, from Tata Memorial Hospital, said, "Tobacco is the singlemost known and preventable cause of cardiovascular death and disability in the world".

The global tobacco epidemic kills more than 7 million people each year, of which close to nine lakh are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. If the trend continues on the current trajectory, the world will only achieve a 22% reduction by 2025.

Up to 10 billion of the 1.5 billion cigarettes sold daily are deposited in the environment, and cigarette butts account for 30-40% of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups. The prevalence of smokers in the region has declined from 28.0% in 2000 to 17.4% in 2015.

Most of the 2,700-odd people who will die in the next 24 hours in India due to cancer caused by smoking and other tobacco products tried to quit but failed and were living their last days with a feeling of being powerless over their habit.

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He further said that the government also compromised on tobacco tax this year as well by accommodating the tobacco industry by continuation of the third tier which allows most selling brands with least tax.

Bidis, which are a type of low-priced and hand-rolled cigarettes that are locally made in India, account for a significant proportion of tobacco use in India.

But reductions in smoking rates in some nations "are nearly entirely offset by the increasing consumption in many countries with weaker tobacco control regulations", says The Tobacco Atlas anti-smoking lobby.

"WHO has estimated that tobacco use (smoking and smokeless) is now responsible for the death of about six million people across the world each year with numerous deaths occurring prematurely". We must overcome obstacles to implementing measures like taxation, marketing bans and implementing plain packaging.

"Effective measures to reduce tobacco demand which can be accomplished in a short time and at reasonable cost include increasing tobacco taxes and prices, which will save lives as well as generate money for governments".

The WHO FCTC entered into force in February 2005 and has today 181 Parties covering more than 90% of the world's population.

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