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On the occasion of 'No Smoking Day,' Fortis Malar Hospital conducted an awareness camp at the Dr Muthulakshmi Park, Adyar to make people aware about perils of smoking today. More than 100 people participated at this awareness camp to understand medical implications of smoking tobacco. Dr. K. Rajkumar, Consultant Pulmonologist, Dr. Balakumar, Vascular Surgeon and Ms. Nethra Balasubramaniam, psychologist educated the public on the importance of staying healthy and shared simple, achievable steps to quit smoking.
Dr. K. Rajkumar, Consultant Pulmonologist, Fortis Malar Hospitals said, "Today, tobacco consumption has become one of the leading causes of death. From hair to toenail, every single cell of the body gets affected by it. The moment you stop smoking your body starts to heal and within 20 mins the heart rate and blood pressure returns to normal. It is difficult to quit smoking but not an impossible task. With proper guidance and support from friends and family anyone can stop smoking. Through our initiative, we strongly believe in helping people overcome their addiction and save precious lives."
Ms.Nethra Balasubramaniam, Counselling psychologist, Fortis Malar Hospitals said, "Studies have shown that depression and smoking often go hand in hand. Nicotine stimulates the release of the chemical - dopamine in the brain, which is involved in triggering positive feelings. It is often found to be low in people suffering from depression, who may use cigarettes as a way to temporarily increase their dopamine supply. However, smoking makes the brain to switch off its own mechanism of making dopamine so in the long term the supply decreases, which in turn prompts people to smoke more."
She also added, "To quit smoking completely, think about your relationship with smoking. Understanding the side effects, it has on your body can boost your motivation to quit. Think about what you will gain by not smoking, for instance better physical health, fresher breath, improved concentration and by the end of the day more money in your pocket to spend on better things."
The awareness programme ended with the expert doctors sharing important information on the impact of smoking and sharing valuable suggestions to successfully come out of the addiction. They also answered several queries from the public's end after which many people voluntarily signed and pledged to quit smoking. Flyers with information on how to quit smoking was distributed to public in the Adyar traffic signal.
Smoking causes more than one in 10 deaths worldwide (equivalent to 6.4 million deaths). India is among the top 10 countries together accounting for almost two-thirds of the world's smokers (63.6%). As per National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 28.6% of men in Chennai smoke cigarettes or bidis. Women and children living with smokers are at increased risk of premature death and disease from exposure to secondhand smoke.
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