It is world No Tobacco day.
WHO is on “Tobacco Exposed” theme this year. it is about creating awareness on how tobacco industry ensures that people are hooked to tobacco. The target group is younger children. This is because
- Kids are more influenced by advertisement
- Younger users would mean longer users.
- They are more likely to ignore health consequences.
Initially cigarettes were heralded as health beneficial, in 1952 first article on dangers of smoking emerged there was a drop of 20%in cigarette sales. 1954 the law of statutory warnings was passed.
India has now taken a stand to ban liquor and cigarette advertisement, yet, there is an increase in smokers particularly women who have had urban college education. This is because of surrogate marketing. Where the tobacco companies or their associates sponsor events. 54.1% sponsor contest or sweepstakes.
Celebrities and influencers are used. Post box office success of the movie Kabir Singh, udtha Punjab there has been a sharp increase in smoking.
Though there have been pressures from the health concerned public to ban tobacco, which is the cause of various health conditions. Banning would only result in illicit sale and increase of black money. Instead the governments of Karnataka and Maharashtra in India have come up with making it punishable offence.
In Goa we are permitted to make a citizen’s arrest for smoking in public places. But the imagery created by the successive movies is that Goa is one big ashtray, or smoking zone.
Cigarette smoke contains 69 carcinogens including ammonia, tar, carbon monoxide, urea, cyanide methane, formaldehyde, arsenic, lead, polonium-210. Secondary smoke inhalers inhale 50times greater levels of Ammonia and 5times greater levels of carbon monoxide.
the tobacco industry sponsors cancer research to identify and play up other cancer causing factors.
In the covid-19 era
- Tobacco industry is sponsoring the covid-19 vaccine research as part of its CSR placing it as part of solution.
- Tobacco industry supports non-peer reviewed papers that say smoking is not an associated risk factor in covid-19 cases.
- UK based daily mail reported “Nicotine stops covid-19” on the basis of a non-peer reviewed study conducted by Dr.Konstantinos. this was championed by David Hockney who is known to have links to the tobacco industry funded forest group.
In the states tobacco companies have taken to email marketing and distribution of free samples at events.
To eliminate tobacco we need to work two ways. One is any movie showing more than certain % of tobacco usage should be tagged for adult viewing. Ban celebrities and influencers from posting pictures of them smoking on social media.
Educating and the children
De-addiction and is usually done in various forms, substitution with nicotine patches, organic cigarette’s etc.
Dealing complications of tobacco addictions and the relapse of patients made me realize that we needed to work with something that would bring the transformation from within. Most people who quit smoking had great motivation to do so.
Though substitution, medications did help I found that for most smokers smoking was a smoke screen so that they did not have to face something in their personal space. It was quite often associated with low self esteem, or great need to suppress the vocal cords. Addressing these issues along with gradual weaning helped people to quit smoking.
The need of the hour still remains that we see that people don’t get on board.
worth a read Tobacco underground.
DM to conduct awareness workshop for your institute or group.