BANGALORE: Today is World No Tobacco Day and this is the day to make a resolution to stop tobacco consumption and spread the awareness of its ill-effects. As glaring it may sound, according to a survey conducted by the Consortium for Tobacco Control, Karnataka, in 20 pre-university colleges of Bangalore city, 21 per cent of boys and 11.4 per cent girls are into some sort of tobacco consumption.
City Express visited a few hospitals in the city to get a reality check and also spoke to some experts in the industry. They said that they were shocked to witness a rising trend in various kinds of diseases amongst youngsters related to their habit of tobacco consumption.
Dr Upendra Bhojani, faculty, Institute of Public Health said, “The deaths due to smoking is enormous. In 2010 alone, one million deaths were
associated with smoking and most of them belonged to the middle-aged group. Problems like tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases have become common now.” He added further, “We must understand that tobacco consumption is not an inherited habit but an addiction and it is possible to reduce the grave ramifications only if we spread global awareness strongly.”
When City Express visited Victoria Hospital, one of the officials said, “Over 20 to 30 TB patients are admitted per day in our hospital and nearly 10 patients are below 15 years of age and death rate is considered to be 4 per cent.
Undoubtedly, the main cause for TB is smoking and alcohol consumption. From infected mothers to children during delivery, a number of tobacco-related cases have also been reported and last year it stood at 1,164.”
Voicing a similar opinion, Dr Nagappa, a professor in Bowring Hospital said, “Although we receive more number of adult cases, there has been a rise in the number of cases of respiratory ailments among the youngsters. Moreover, most of the side affects are long term based. Hence, it is seen more in the category of 30-50 years of age.”
Another major issue which has been over looked at times is that tobacco related expenses are pushing families into poverty and forcing them to cut down expenditure on essential food items. At the national level, the spending on three major groups of diseases caused by tobacco is nearly 16 per cent more than the revenue generated by all kinds of tobacco products.
Deaths: As per a study conducted in the year 2008, women between 30 and 69 accounted for 13 per cent of deaths from TB and 14 per cent from respiratory diseases. As far as men are concerned, 66 per cent deaths were due to TB and 60 per cent from respiratory diseases.