An average Indian male smoker, smokes nearly 3 packets per day and is not aware of health consequences of smoking habit. Indians smoke 90 million cigarettes a year which works out to a hefty Rs.180 million going up in smoke every year points out Dr. G.S.Kailash, Physician and Chest Consultant.
Tobacco was introduced by the Portugese sailors to India way back in the 16th century during the reign of the Emperor Akbar. Today 500 years since, India is the largest tobacco producer in the world, growing about 5 lakh tons of tobacco in a year. ICMR data reveals that there are 184 million tobacco consumers in India of which 20% smoke cigarettes, 40% prefer beedis and 40% chew various varieties of tobacco.
In fact, the direct cost of treating top 3 diseases related to tobacco use i.e., heart disease (CAD), lung disease (COPD) and cancers was Rs.2776 crores in 1999. Approximately 8 lakh people die each year in India die due to tobacco related diseases i.e., 90 deaths per hour!!
Smoking is arguably the most important cause of morbidity and premature mortality in the world and in India. Addiction to Nicotine is recognised as being the essence of smoking behaviour. About 70% smokers want to stop, yet only 2 to 3% succeed in doing so permanently. Even using the most intensive of the interventions available previously, about 20% or less abstained for only 12 months. New, alternative and effective approaches to smoking cessation are clearly needed.
Bupropion hydrochloride, a sustained release tablet is the first non-nicotine pharmalogical therapy licensed for smoking cessation and as such represents a novel approach to treatment. It is chemically unrelated to nicotine addiction. It has both dopaminergic and noradnergic activity and appears to act directly on the pathways in the brain that are responsible for nicotine dependence.
WHO has classified nicotine as a medical disease and recognized it as having an underlying neurobiological basis. Like other diseases Nicotine addiction requires professional medical attention. WHO recommended that the 3 parameters-namely behavioral, Psychological and Neurobiological- should be addressed simultaneously. Professional medical attention would mean proper assessment of the degree of addiction through questionnaires, spirometry, X-ray, etc., identifying triggering factors, proper medical prescription.
In a nutshell, smoking causes or contributes to over 20 diseases or conditions like
- Cancer- lung, mouth, throat, oesophagus, larynx, bladder, kidney, pancreas and stomach.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Heart disease- coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction.
- Cerebrovascular disease –ex, stroke
- Peripheral vascular disease- thrombo angitis obliterans (TAQ, Buerger’s disease)
- Gastric/duodenal ulcers
- pregnancy and birth complications-ex, low birth-weight, infants, cot death.and many more.
So stop smoking TODAY.
Pic courtesy: gazettereview.com