Friday, 27 May 2016

IMA & HCFI stress on the need for a more vigerous and collaborative effort to reduce tobacco consumption in the country

IMA & HCFI stress on the need for a more vigerous and collaborative effort to reduce tobacco consumption in the country
Highlight the dangers of cigarettes, gutka, e-cigarette and hookah at a press conference held in Delhi on occasion of the upcoming World No Tobacco Day

New Delhi 26 May, 2016:  According to the recently released Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-India 2010), about 35 per cent of the adults in India consume tobacco in some form or the other. The estimated number of tobacco users in India is 27.5 crore, with 16.37 crore users of smokeless tobacco, 6.9 crore only smokers and 4.23 crore users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco.

In light of these increasing numbers and the need to raise awareness about the health consequences of tobacco consumption, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) today hosted a joint press conference at the Russian Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

Addressing the press, Dr SS Agarwal, National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal, President HCFI and Honorary Secretary General IMA said, “ An ICMR study has recently revealed that cancer of the mouth has emerged as the most common among men, followed by lung cancer. Both these are directly linked to tobacco consumption in a direct or indirect form. The number of women smokers is also on the rise, which has a hazardous effect on not only their own health but also of their future offspring. Tobacco consumption is also a leading cause of impotency, early ageing, and heart disease. It is crucial that a more active effort is made by private and public organizations together to curb the increasing consumption of tobacco in our country”.

“With an increasing number of stresses being by today’s generation, resorting to cigarette smoking seems like the easy way out. However, people must be made to realize that they are signing up for life-long health complications, high hospital bills and unhappiness. Awareness also needs to be raised about the dangers of hookah and e-cigarette consumption, which are seen as good alternatives. The Heart Care Foundation of India and Indian Medical Association will be rolling out several public sensitization activities in the course of the next one year, “added Dr. KK Aggarwal.
Both IMA & HCFI have welcomed the government’s move demanding 85% pictorial warning on tobacco products and are also advocating for a ban on hookah and e-cigarettes in the country.

Together, they will also be training all General Practitioners in tobacco cessation so that tobacco quit facilities are available to those who want to quit.  IMA has already advised their 2.5 lakh members to ask every patient at every visit whether he or she smokes and if yes, offer help for quitting.  

IMA has also sent communication to all its 1700 branches and 2.5 lakh members not to allow smoking in their organizational meetings and their clinics and hospitals should be strictly no smoking zones. No doctor shall smoke in public place and in public view.

The following points were released at the conference:

  • Beedi and hookah smoking is in fact more dangerous than cigarette smoking.
  • Secondhand smoke is equally dangerous to health as tobacco smoking.
  • Quitting means three years of not consuming tobacco
  • Electronic cigarettes are not safe option to quit smoking. 
  • Putting nicotine water over herbal products and selling them for a kick, needs to be banned.
  • There should be complete ban of smoking in films. The caption below the scene that smoking is injurious to health does not stop people emulating the smoking character depicted in the film.  There is enough data available to prove the point.
A demand for banning of oral tobacco products all over the country was also made. IMA & HCFI feel that a selective ban in a few States only encourages the illicit trade of tobacco products from non ban states to ban states.

1 comment:

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