Tobacco use increases risk of Diabetes:
Doctors say to Indian citizens on World Health Day 2016
New Delhi (April 8, 2016) – Observing the ‘Beat Diabetes’ theme of World Health Day 2016 (WHD), the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has called on all member doctors to highlight the importance of avoiding tobacco products to help patients prevent and manage diabetes. The IMA also congratulates the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India (MoHFW) for standing its ground to implement 85% Pictorial Health Warnings on both sides of tobacco packaging, despite immense pressure from the tobacco industry.
Large and effective pack warnings discourage non-users, youth in particular, from starting; encourage current users to stop and also prevent relapse of those who have already quit. They also detract from the glamour and appeal of tobacco product packages and help to build tobacco-free norms.
To support MoHFW’s efforts, IMA is preparing doctors through a series of webcasts and SMSs on motivating patients to quit tobacco. The IMA SMS campaign ‘Rise and Shine’ has been sending out evidence-based messages linking tobacco use to diabetes developed with inputs from HRIDAY. SMSs like ‘Diabetic tobacco users at greater risk of blindness, nerve damage, heart disease & kidney failure’ are being sent out from the senior IMA council to all member doctors everyday, as a run up to WHD.
On the occasion of WHD, IMA has organized a procession of tableaus with important health messages, which will circle the city of Delhi to raise awareness among citizens about health risks including tobacco use.
“We have a two-way responsibility. With a membership of over two lakh doctors, we must keep them abreast with scientific evidence on the effectiveness of health policies and measures. We want our doctors to be active advocates for strong tobacco control measures because it is not just about saving lives but also preventing disease and death. Our second responsibility is to whole-heartedly support and applaud the Government on measures like the 85% pictorial health warnings on tobacco packs, which will go a long way in preventing young people from using tobacco and motivating users to quit,” said Padma Shri Awardee Dr K.K. Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, IMA.