Awareness programmes mark World No Tobacco Day

Awareness programmes mark World No Tobacco Day

As part of the World No Tobacco Day in the city, doctors from HCG  and cancer survivors from Pink Hope Patient Support Group on Tuesday joined hands to campaign against the harmful effects of tobacco and second hand smoking. 

An event was organised in front of Town Hall to highlight the health risks associated with tobacco use and create awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco, following the government’s decision that companies should increase the size of health warnings from the current 20% of the surface of a cigarette packet to 85%. 

Nalini Satyanarayan, a throat cancer survivor in the Pink Hope Patient Support Group, said, “We all know the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and I have been a victim of second-hand smoking. Being a non-smoker, I have gone through the ordeal and have come out victorious. But it’s high time that everyone comes together to take a stand against tobacco consumption.” 

Dr Vishal Rao, head and neck surgeon, HCG, said, “Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in India with 30% of the population addicted to one or other form of tobacco. A recent report by the state government estimates the expenditure on health to be around Rs 1,000 crore annually. Karnataka sees about 50,000 new cases each year, out of which 30-40% are related to tobacco. The 85% warning will have a strong impact on current tobacco consumers too,” he said.

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) organised a walkathon to create awareness on the ill-effects of tobacco. Over 400 students, their families and anti-tobacco advocates marched from MG Road Metro station to Freedom Park.

Shajan Samuel, senior vice president, MAAC, said, “Globally, smoking and tobacco use are declining. Despite initiatives from the government to curb tobacco use, reports suggest that there are still gaps to be filled. During the march, we realized that many people still are unaware of the effects of passive smoking.”

National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans), Bangalore, organized an exhibition on tobacco awareness. Director of Nimhans, Professor B N Gangadhar, inaugurated the exhibition along with one of the patients of Nimhans. The exhibition had posters on the physical harm caused by tobacco, effects of smoking on family members, the importance of tobacco cessation and the tobacco cessation services available at Nimhans.  

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