Every year, 31 of May is celebrated as a World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). To mark the day enlightens the public on the threats of using tobacco, and the business practices of tobacco companies, what World Health Organization is performing to fight the tobacco epidemic, and what people around the world can do to claim their right to health and healthy living and to safeguard future generations.
The Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the tobacco epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes. The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and its negative health effects, which currently lead to more than 8 million deaths each year worldwide, including 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke as reported by WHO.
There are so many modes to inhale tobacco, like cigarette smoking, cigar, bidi (tobacco wrapped in tendu leaves) shisha/hookah (use of water pipes), and e-cigarettes. The other smokeless tobacco inhalation includes chewing and snuff. E-cigarettes and other vaping products are new versions of tobacco. There are many different types of e-cigarettes in use, also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), with varying amounts of nicotine and harmful emissions.
ENDS emissions typically contain nicotine and other toxic substances that are harmful to both users and those exposed to the vapors second hand or passive smokers. Conditions that increase oxygen needs or reduce the ability of the body to use it properly will put patients at higher risk of serious lung conditions.
Smoking is one of the biggest preventable causes of premature death. Besides some external problems, like black lips, yellow teeth, halitosis, and gum disease. It is one of the primary causes of serious and often fatal conditions, including heart disease and lung cancer. Medically, more serious conditions may develop, including heart disease, bronchitis, asthma, respiratory disease, stroke, and many types of cancer.
Tobacco smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, responsible for over two-thirds of lung cancer deaths globally. Second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the workplace also increases the risk of lung cancer. Minimizing to quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer. Smoking leads to the cause of the respiratory and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition where the build-up of pus-filled mucus in the lungs results in a painful cough and agonizing breathing difficulties. Tabaco smoking further exacerbates tuberculosis commonly as TB.
About one-quarter of the world's population has hidden Tuberculosis, placing them at the risk of developing the active disease. People who smoke are twice likely to fall ill with tuberculosis. Young children are prone to diseases in an environment of smoking. Infants exposed to tobacco smoke toxins, through maternal smoke or maternal exposure to second-hand smoke, frequently experience reduced lung growth and function.
World Health Organization and recent research indicate that smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to novel coronavirus, (COVID-19), as the act of smoking means that fingers (and possibly contaminated cigarettes) are in contact with lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus from hand to mouth. They are at more risk of coronavirus than non-smokers. Smokers may already have lung disease or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness.
Make it certain that this life is not granted, it has been blessed by God, and you would be asked for it. And once the health is lost, no power or wealth can get it back. Every time you light a cigarette you disobey your God and saying that your life is not worth living. You can buy medicine but not even the smallest eyelash of an eye.
No one can stop a smoker from smoking, the primary responsibility lies on the smoker to take the first step towards your smoke-free life. It would not happen in a day, and it won't happen tomorrow. There is never a bad time to start the road of your smoke and vape free life. It is often seen that smokers always wait for some moment to stop, and they promise they will stop on that day, which never comes.
One of my close friends, always promises me that he is going to stop cigarettes in the month of Ramzan. Although he minimizes his smoke in the month. But the next day after Eid, he starts again. The best and the only way to quit smoking is to just leave it. Quit today to reduce these risks and start living a healthier life.
One of my teachers is chain smoker, I recollect a day when he was smoking, all of sudden his little son barely five years old came in, he quickly put the cigarette off, burning his fingertips, and his face turned pale. But on the other unfortunate side, I have seen people who ask their wards to bring cigarettes or other tobacco items for them.
Albeit, I said to the number of parents, at least do not send your wards for this dreadful item. Everyone can play some role to minimize at least. The young generation, who are addicted to it, due to so many modern trends, they claim that smoke makes them feel tension free. Stop it now, tomorrow may be too late.
To quit smoking, first, you need to be firm in your decision that you want to quit it. And once decided do not be lured of others. Stop meeting smoker friends. No doubt it is very hard to quite in one go after all the nicotine is a very powerful addictive drug, and it won't let you leave so easily. But with the frim approach, you can do, you will need a lot of patience, and will power to quit this.
A smoker does not need a cigarette to be complete his life. All the happiness, harmony, and tranquility you can seek is already inside you. Every puff of smoke is draining your money, health, and kills you slowly one puff after another. Smoking is the cause of suffering, stress, and loss of your health. And no doubt, once you are prone to smoking, there are nicotine receptors in the smokers' brain. But with quit smoking, the brain can feel happy without smoking.
Although hundreds and thousands of programs and media stories on the dangers of tobacco use and to reduce it, still generation after generation continues to use these deadly products, and family after family continues to suffer from the devastating consequences. Still, a lot is missing to be done to curb this global epidemic.
Therefore, the first responsibility lies in smokers taking the first step to quitting. The negligence of stakeholders is also responsible for it. Stakeholders were never serious in this dreadful menace. This day is a call for all the stakeholders of the world for action, advocating for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption and engaging the multiple sectors in its fight.
If you decide firmly to stop smoking, no power on the earth can stop you from it. Do not wait for a proper moment to stop it, and there will never be a perfect moment to quit smoking. As famously said by American writer Mark Twain: "the secret of getting ahead is getting started." Let's pledge today, to make tomorrow beautiful.
Auhor is pursuing Doctorate from department of English, University of Kashmir