By Guest Author: Dr V Sreekanth Reddy. MBBS, MS, MCh(Surgical Oncology)

Edited by: Dr Sandeep Nayak

We heard a lot about the problems people are facing with COVID-19 and suddenly every1 became aware of their health.As the number of cases are increasing and death toll is raising people are scared for their lives and their loved ones.Meanwhile there is also one deadly killer among us causing more damage to our health and death nearly 10 times more than COVID 19.

That deadly killer is Tobacco. To know about the severity of the issues let’s compare our veteran killer to the new rookie . Corona has infected nearly 6 million cases so far and caused nearly 3.8 lakh deaths so far.On the other hand Tobacco has caused nearly 7 million tobacco related deaths every year.Tobacco not only causes loss of lives,it also impacts a lot of financial burden to the economy. 300 Billion USD is spent yearly on health problems caused by tobacco in USA alone.

Every year 31st May is celebrated as WORLD NO TOBBACCO DAY. So, on this occasion I want to create awareness about quitting tobacco.Every day nearly 2000 teenagers below the age of 18 start their first  cigarette and nearly 300 of them become chronic smokers.For every death caused by tobacco there are 30 people who are suffering with tobacco related problems.

There are lot of awareness campaigns about quitting tobacco by governments and NGO’s. Inspite of that we are not able to succeed in quitting tobacco. In 2018 nearly 55 % of smokers made an attempt to quit smoking but only 7.5% of them succeeded.

COVID lockdown surprisingly made us behave in more disciplined manner.So let’s lake this as an opportunity to come out as a better individuals. COVID has made every one aware that prevention is better than cure so similarly stoping the first exposure to tobacco is very crucial.

Research suggests that teenage groups are the most vulnerable and most common age to start smoking or other forms of tobacco.As a primary preventive method we should educate our teenagers and college going students about harmful effects of tobacco and prevent them for tobacco addiction.

People who are already using tobacco either by smoking or chewing it should be encouraged to quit it. There is a saying “Nobody has done great things on their own”. Seeking help from medical professionals to quit tobacco increase your chances of succeeding by 21%.

There are lot of free apps available ,government run tobacco deaddiction centres and many NGO,s to help you quit smoking . Listen to the success stories of former smokers to keep yourself motivated. MACS Clinic also has a tobacco cessation clinic to help patients to quit the butt.

Join me and take this challenge today that you will take a step towards quitting tobacco.

Spread the word. Quit smoking.