World’s No Tobacco Day is celebrated all over the world on May 31st every year. This year the theme is ‘Tobacco and Heart diseases’. The aim is to increase public awareness on the link between the use of tobacco and heart and other cardiovascular diseases that include stroke which combined are the world’s leading causes of death. Emphasis is to be laid on the feasible actions and measures that key audiences including government and the public can take to reduce the risk to heart health posed by the use of tobacco.
This year the event coincides with the range of global initiatives and opportunities aimed at adverting the fast increasing use of tobacco and its effect on public health, particularly in causing the death and suffering of millions of people all over the world. These actions include the ‘WHO- supported global heart and resolve’ initiatives that aim to reduce cardiovascular disease deaths and improve care and the third United general assembly high-level meeting on the prevention and control NCD’s being held this year.
The goals of the campaign this year include increasing awareness within the broader public on the impact of the use of tobacco and the exposure to second-hand smoke on cardiovascular health and to provide opportunities for the public, governments, and others to make commitments to promote heart health by protecting people from use of tobacco products.
Monitoring tobacco use and implementation of prevention policies are needed. People can be protected from exposure to tobacco smoke by the creation of completely smoke-free indoor public places, workplaces, and public transport. For giving up the use of tobacco facilities such as cost covered, population-wide support, including advice by health-care providers and national toll-free lines. Tobacco users have to be warned about the dangers of tobacco use by implementing plain/standardize packaging, and/or large graphic health warnings on all tobacco packages and implementing effective anti-tobacco mass media campaigns. Comprehensive bans have to be imposed on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship. Taxes on tobacco products have to be raised to make them less affordable.
The harmful effects of the use of tobacco are highly alarming. Cardiovascular diseases kill more people every year than any other diseases and about 12% of all heart disease death are due to the use of tobacco and second-hand smoke exposure. Tobacco use is the second main cause of heart diseases after high blood pressure. A shocking report of Global Adult Tobacco Survey of India reveals that in homes 52% young persons are affected by secondary or passive smoking that is smoking by others. Researchers have found that in the homes where adults smoke in the presence of children, the latter suffers from the diseases such as ear infection, asthma, pneumonia, chest trouble, skin and throat related problems, underweight, etc.
Whatever may be the reason for starting smoking – to distress, to show off or to pass time – the effects are manifold. Smoking affects the nerves and mental system. It causes worry, uneasiness, restlessness, headache, etc. it is the cause of several breathing problems as it affects the lungs adversely.
According to experts, there are several ways that decrease the desire to smoke such as the use of milk products, potato chips, fried walnuts, almonds, and dates. Vegetables and fruits such as carrots, brinjal, lemon, orange, and strawberry also help.
Members of the family and friends can help a lot in giving up smoking. It is always better for a person to let others know that he has decided not to smoke as they can remind him of his resolve. Cigarettes, ‘bidies’, etc. should be kept out of his reach. The company of other smokers is to be avoided at all cost.