Menace of Tobacco Consumption
According to various studies, the incidence of heart disease has gone up throughout the world. It was not difficult to identify smoking as the single most important risk factor of heart and lung ailments. To reduce the current mortality rate of 3.5 million per year and to decrease smoking by 1.1 billion people, nearly one-third of the global adult population is a stupondous task. The cessation of smoking strengthens tissues to fight ailments. Some of the diseases due to tobacco use lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, cardiac disease and burgers disease. So far as heart disease is concerned, after the cessation of smoking there is rapid improvement in the coronary ciimlation and the chances of a heart attack reduced with every passing day. Besides, tobacoo consumption is also responsible for a major financial drain which is not in the interest of nation’s development. Global loss clue to smoking related disease is 200 billion and half of this is in the developing countries. In India, there were 3,83,000 deaths in 1998 due to tobacco.
However, the Government of India has taken note of the situation and a draft legislation has been prepared advocating strong remedial measures to reduce the menace of smoking. There is a dire need of a total ban on tobacco advertising in newspapers, magazines, and films. A nation-wide ban on smoking at public places, prohibition on sales promotion of cigarettes through sponsorship of sport events and sale-denial of tobacco products to children is the essential need of the hour to curb this menace.
Then we need to discourage smoking in adolescents. It would be pertinent to know that about 55,000 children (below 18) in our country take up smoking every year and by the time they reach forty, their life is frought with dangers of heart ailments. A health education programme is the need of the hour, because adolescents and young adults do not even know health hazards of tobacco consumption. As far as the cigarette industry is concerned, it is claimed that being labour intensive, its instability will create unemployment and the government may loose Rs. 6,500 corore as excise revenue yearly, besides 130 million through exports.
No doubt, the jobs of 3.4 million people engaged in tobacco manufacturing are at stake. But the nation is already spending many times more money in the health and social welfare sectors that the total worth of the tobacco industry, put at Rs. 27,000 crore. It is like earning millions and losing billions. A society is duty-bound to strive for the well being of its people and keep their welfare in mind. It is desirable to close down this industry for the well-being of our human resource and the country at large.