30-MAY-2019: Dr G S Hashmi highlights health challenges related to tobacco use
Aligarh, May 30: Ahead of 'World No Tobacco Day,' Dr G S Hashmi, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr Z A Dental College, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) highlighted the health challenges related to tobacco use.
"The world witnesses, 4.9 million tobacco-related deaths yearly with most tobacco users dying from lung diseases such cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis," said Dr Hashmi.
He pointed out, it is estimated that tobacco will be the leading cause of death in the world by third decade of this century. "Tobacco is likely to cause more deaths than AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, maternal mortality, automobile crashes, homicides and suicides," said Dr Hashmi.
"Since India is one of the biggest tobacco consumers and producers, it is imperative to come up with the best ways to enforce effective tobacco control actions such as reducing the demand for tobacco through taxation, creating smoke free places and cessation support," he said.
Dr Hashmi said: "According to World Health Organisation, the Government of India is annually spends Rs 100000 crores on the treatment of patients suffering with tobacco related diseases. The government is also engaged in legal battles against tobacco industry."
He added, India has banned sale of tobacco to minors as a non-bailable offence punishable by seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine upto one lakh rupees.
"There is a ban on tobacco products such as gutka (chewable tobacco), but despite the ban people still buy it," said Dr Hashmi.
He pointed out: "The Ministry of Health has imposed 85 percent pictorial warning on tobacco packets, but there is a need to further strengthening of policies to control tobacco use."
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