“Smoking is harmful to Health” – This is a statutory warning printed on all cigarette packets. Yet the question arises as to how many people pay heed to this warning. Statistics will reveal a very small number. Majority knowingly jump in the fire or continue to smoke, risking even the lives of those around them, due to passive smoking.
A recent research has revealed that smoking kills almost a million people in India per year. More so the high smoking risk among Indians was a surprise when actually Indians start smoking at a later age and even smoke less than their European and American counterparts.
Also smoking results in most Indians dying from Tuberculosis rather than cancer as Indians prefer Beedis, that are traditionally leaf wrapped and hand rolled rather than manufactured brand filters. And since most of them never quit till death, the risk just doubles.
The study also revealed that almost 120 million people smoke in India, majority being men. Due to smoking most men in India get infected with asymptomatic tuberculosis – that is, smoking damages the lungs to such an extent that the latent infection cannot be sustained, eventually leading to death.
Illiteracy is one of the evil causes of smoking, for half of the Indian smokers are illiterate and barely 2% quit smoking in their lives. For the other half literate people who continue to smoke in spite of being aware of the dangers involved, the Indian health authorities are rooting for tobacco companies to print images of diseases that are tobacco related. But politicians want to save their vote banks in the name of protecting jobs of tobacco workers.
The research which was recently published was based on a study of the smoking history of 74,000 Indian who had recently died and 78,000 Indians living.
Well research or no research, smoking is injurious to health – is a known fact. And yet people continue to…smoke!
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