Bengaluru, February 2018: Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road in association with Bangalore Police conducts tobacco cessation drive ahead of World Cancer Day (February 4). The drive was held on 2nd February 2018 in different areas like Bannerghatta Road, Cunningham Road, Millers Road, Vasanth Nagar, St Mark’s Road and Central Majestic.
According to NCBI, India is the second largest consumer of tobacco globally, and accounts for approximately one-sixth of the world’s tobacco-related deaths. The tobacco problem in India is peculiar, with consumption of variety of smokeless and smoking forms.
Dr. Shalini Joshi, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road said, “Quit tobacco, just the way you started, “BY TRYING IT ONCE”. This is the motto of Fortis’ public drive that aims to raise awareness on the impacts of tobacco addiction. Nicotine produces physical and mood-altering effects in the brain that cause temporary experience of pleasure. However, the prolonged outcome of these very effects is tobacco addiction, the negative repercussions of which become apparent in the long term. Despite honest intentions during later stages, unguided attempts of quitting tobacco cause withdrawal symptoms, including irritability and anxiety. While it’s the nicotine in tobacco that causes dependence, the toxic effects are the result of other cancer-causing harmful substances in tobacco.”
The team gave away free tobacco cessation kits to 100 people engaged in smoking, after counseling them on their ideal path to quit the lethal habit. Each tobacco cessation kit consists of nicotine chewing gums, tea bags, raisins, almonds and a fidget spinner to divert their minds from an urge to smoke.
Dr. Shalini added, “The kit will help smokers manage withdrawal symptoms and quit smoking for good.” According to her, an empathic beginning that’s driven by hope is vital to one’s success in leading a smoking-free life.
According to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO), tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 7 million people a year. More than 6 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 890 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
In line with this, Dr. Manish Mattoo, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore said, “We are committed towards taking steps to educate public on leading a healthy lifestyle .While ill effects of smoking are widely spoken about, many of us don’t realize that smoking is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths in India. Through this initiative we want to focus on helping people overcome their addiction and save lives.”
- Suneel Kumar, Police Commissioner of Bengaluru,said, “We have fined thousands of smokers so far outside metro stations, school, colleges and other public places in the city. While, issuing challan does not make much difference in their attitude and they continue smoking. Initiatives like this, might create an urge in them to quit and proceed with healthy life.”
NCBI also reports, there are several policy measures of tobacco control being implemented at the national and international level to fight the battle against tobacco. It has been estimated that a lack of cessation services may lead to an additional 160 million global deaths among smokers by 2050.
Initiatives like tobacco cessation drive taken by Fortis Hospitals will help take the message to a large number of citizens and thus help them quit smoking.