National: 29th May 2019: Indus Health Plus, in its report on health hazards by consumption of Tobacco has revealed that there is an increase of 5 per cent in lung abnormality among those who consumed Tobacco and its by-products across the globe.
World across, the Tobacco consumption has become a major public health issue and is recognised as a social problem. However, there have been no strong legistlation or implementation of those legistlations to contain the tobacco consumers.
This year’s campaign theme by WHO for World No Tobacco Day is on tobacco and lung health, focusing on creating awareness on the negative impact that tobacco has on people’s lung health. A recent Abnormality Report by Indus Health Plus, a pioneer in preventive healthcare,from April 2017 to March 2019, revealed that there is a 5% increase in lung abnormality of tobacco consumers as compared to last year.
Approximately 57 % of people who underwent for the check-ups had obstructive airways, suggesting reduced lung capacity due to tobacco consumption.The sample size for the study was 30,749 people across India out of which 24, 982 people consumed tobacco in any form.
Out of the total people screened this year, 39 % of females consumed tobacco in any form. One of the major factors for females to start smoking is to prevent weight gain followed by peer pressure and style statement. Women who smoke or are exposed to passive smoking are at increased risk of infertility and are more likely to take longer to get pregnant. Due to the toxins from cigarettes, smoking increases the chance of miscarriage. Smoking is also a risk factor for tuberculosis. Unhealthy weight loss due to smoking reduces the appetite and immunity level and people who consume tobacco get prone to tuberculosis. It has been observed that smoking substantially increases the risk of tuberculosis in women.
In 2017 – 18, 42% of people who consumed tobacco were found to be weighing below 65 kgs which further increased to 46% in the year 2018 – 2019. Over 70 % of people who were consuming tobacco are between the age group of 30 – 60 which falls under the working population.
Amol Naikawadi, Preventive Healthcare Specialist and JMD, Indus Health Plus said, “In our reports, it was observed that approximately 80% of people were exposed to tobacco in some form in their lives. Lungs are the most affected parts due to tobacco consumption. People in the fourth decade ( 40 – 49) are found to be most addicted to tobacco. This is followed by a fifth ( 50 – 59) and the third decade ( 30 – 39). Younger generation consumes smoke and smokeless tobacco due to peer pressure, style statement, and stress. Strong will power, medical/psychologicalcounseling and oral medication help to overcome smoking. Timely routine check-ups along with preventive measures are essential to avoid the risk of diseases, which might occur due to smoking.”
9% of the people who were consuming tobacco in any form have increased the level of hemoglobin (more than 16). 32% of smokers reported atherosclerosis. Nicotine causes greasiness in the blood vessels and triggers atherosclerosis amongst smokers. 8 – 9 % of the people are showing abnormalities in the chest x-ray which are the effects of smoking.
To encourage people to quit smoking, other than increasing the prices of tobacco, the rule of no public smoking should be strengthened and people should follow the same stringently.
Law enforcement should be potentiated by tax rebates on quiting smoking fo better compliance on no tobacco.Tobacco increases the risk of multiple cancers, COPD and other chronic diseases. Therefore it is imperative to spread awareness amongst masses about the consequences of tobacco consumption. Self-realization would drive an individual from quitting tobacco and leading a healthy life.