Hyderabad, May 30th, 2022: Smoking kills! This is a hugely popular slogan we hear every time someone tries to spread awareness on the ill-effects of tobacco consumption. But there are many more risks associated with this wrong practice in the society, and not all are known to everyone. On the eve of the World No Tobacco Day 2022, there is an urgent need to enhance understanding on this menace.
Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital, one of the leading healthcare facilities in the city, today revealed some startling facts about passive smoking, which at times could be more dangerous than direct or firsthand smoking. Secondhand smoking or passive smoking occurs when someone inhales tobacco smoke from the environment, as opposed to directly inhaling from a cigarette. This environmental or ‘second-hand’ smoke comprises of smoke exhaled by the smoker, and the smoke produced from the tip of a burning cigarette, which adds to the problem.
Commenting on the ill-effects of smoking, Dr. Sudhir Prasad, Senior Consultant Pulmonologist, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital said, “Passive smoking is three to four times more harmful than direct smoking, because emissions from burning end are toxic and combined with smoke exhaled from smokers, leading to more health hazards. It is estimated that about 60% of urban population and 40% of rural population are exposed to passive smoking. From lungs related problems like COPD, tuberculosis, asthma, heart ailments, brain strokes, and cancer of most organs, are caused by tobacco.”
“Smoking tobacco is not just a health hazard; it also is an economic disaster for households and the society. It is estimated that each year healthcare burden on India due to smoking is close to Rs 60,000 crore if not more (Union Health Ministry estimates). And unless we come together and ensure there is an enhanced awareness about the menace; and ensure there is a strict curb on public smoking, this problem will hurt India deeply,” added Dr. Satwinder Singh Sabharwal, COO, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital.
For India, use of tobacco and smoking continues to impose a drastic health and economic burden. India can save millions of lives and reduce this overwhelming burden through stronger tobacco control policies. One million deaths are due to smoking with over 200,000 deaths due to second-hand smoke exposure and over 35,000 are due to smokeless tobacco use. Nearly 27 per cent of all cancers in India are due to tobacco usage, which in numbers stands at dangerous levels.