Poisonous smiles kill lives

The above image depicts the loss of bride’s father due to consumption of tobacco and him being MISSED.

Do you ever think when and how you started consuming tobacco? Or when you took the first puff of that life wrecking cigarette? Think and ask yourself if you want to arrest your brain permanently with this nicotine demanding disorder. Due to continued and increasing use of tobacco, you brain becomes chemically enslaved and starts considering consuming tobacco as important as eating and quitting seems like starvation.

Some of us live with the notion that consuming tobacco in the form of cigarettes can provide relief from mental stress or will help to control weight without knowing its harmful side-effects. Tobacco users are likely to develop life threatening disease such as stroke and lung cancer easily as compared to non- Tobacco users.

A penny lost can be earned back but the loss of a talented life is irrecoverable. Regular use of tobacco has taken innumerable lives around the globe and some of them were inspiring personalities. Great people like Albert Einstein, George Harrison and many more could have contributed a lot in their field if abstained from consuming tobacco. We are set to lose more talents such as these considering the increasing number of nicotine consumers. According to World Health Organisation, Tobacco kills up to half of its users. In fact, it kills more than five million people a year – an average of one person every six seconds – and accounts for one in 10 adult deaths. The annual death toll of more than five million could rise to more than eight million by 2030 unless immediate action is taken to control the tobacco epidemic.

Simply put, consuming tobacco can be related to – if you spill something acidic on your skin, it would hurt, inflame and become worst with the least chance to heal if repeated; your skin will redden, be irritated, and inflamed. Similarly, the organs in your body have a lining of cells to which chemicals in tobacco cause inflammation and damage with the continuous tobacco consumption.

Due to tobacco, your body starts working overtime leading to excess white blood cells and its count keeps increasing when you continue consuming tobacco. High count of white blood cells means your body is constantly fighting against the damage caused by tobacco and eventually disrupts functioning of your entire system. This internal stress can lead to disease in almost any part of your body.

Marketing research by the tobacco companies shows 60% of smokers start when they are younger than 13 and 90% before the age of 20. Teenagers begin smoking with the reason of ‘just want to try’ because they see their elders smoking and find it cool. A single try eventually converts into habit and they get addicted in no time. India presently has increasing population of young but we may lose them rapidly if not taken required action at the right time.

‘Don’t fear freedom and gather all your courage to relinquish your quench for tobacco’, this should be embedded into the society instead of leaving the tobacco users on their death bed. The brain needs upto 72 hours to readjust from its daily routine, tobacco users need to be determined and stay away from smoking and chewing tobacco. You will achieve a high level of satisfaction once your brain’s constant cycle of wanting, needing and begging for tobacco will come to an end and you will find more comfort and peace with the non-addicted people around you. Before you dismiss it as trivial, think and understand the injurious effects of tobacco consumption and don’t fool yourself by looking for the reasons to try it once and then forever.

BY Dr. Ramakant Deshpande, (MS; FICS; FAIS; DHA), Promoter and Executive Vice Chairman of Somaiya Ayurvihar Asian Institute of Oncology, a project conceived by a group of Oncologists who were previously attached to the Tata Memorial Hospital.

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