World No Tobacco Day 2014: Pledging to quit is the entry point to a healthy and happy life

No-smoking-signMay 31st is World No Tobacco Day.

It might be a style statement for some, a conversation starter for others but a cause of death for millions across the world. While smoking kills over 6 million people every year it takes lives of more than 6 lakh non-smokers as well, from breathing second-hand smoke. If we look at India specific numbers World health organization (WHO) say's nearly 5 lakh people die of cancer and WHO expects the number to go up to 7 lakh in 2015 and more than 80 per cent of these deaths are preventable. The governments across the globe have made it mandatory to make the public aware about the hazards of smoking, but like they say charity begins at home. If you are a smoker chances are that your child will pick up smoking first from you and then his peers.

Ahead of the World No Tobacco day on May 31, Dr Shishir Shetty Surgical Oncology Consultant, Sterling Wockhardt Hospital, Vashi-Navi Mumbai. urges the residents to quit smoking and stay away from tobacco. He said 'In this day and age of technology and smartphones the social media is most effective way to reach out to the gen-x. A tweet by a celeb, a short public service ad, a Facebook page on hazards of smoking are just few of the steps that could be taken to spread awareness. The social media must be used to its optimal level the campaign in India Could have a ripple effect across the globe to fight the common cause of no tobacco. I would also urge celebrities to do their bit in spreading awareness as they have a huge fan base and to a large extent are trend setters. Many years back Urmila Matondkar was a part of one such campaign. We appeal to the celebrities to revive the campaign so that it doesn't loose it's fizz and acts as a reminder to common people at all times.'

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Apart from putting your lungs and heart at danger smoking effects one's oral and bone health as well. Tobacco not only causes bad breath but also affects the overall oral heath, it discolors the teeth and also acts as a factor in delayed healing process following treatment and also hinders the success rates of dental procedures.

Dr. Pavan Kumar, consultant cardiac surgeon in Lilavati Hospital & Nanavati hospital, Mumbai said that 'The government of India so far has done a good job in spreading awareness about hazards of smoking and the usage of tobacco. The new lables on the cigarette boxes, public awareness ads in multiplexes, ban on direct advertising of tobacco producing brands and the on screen disclaimer during a smoking scene. This to an extent helps keep the youngsters at bay from getting addicted to tobacco. The presence of cigarettes even with a citation about it being injurious to heath is not enough; counseling should be made a formal part of the circular in schools and should be a fundamental part of upbringing at home. And for the smokers don't make a casual decision but make a committed one to quit as where there is a will there is a way.'

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