Say no to tobacco, say no to lung diseases!


The American humorist, Josh Billings aka Henry Wheeler Shaw once said that “Health is like money. You never know the value of it until you lose it.” This is something that each of us have personally encountered at least once in our lives as we never come to grasp the significance and relief of being healthy until we fall sick.

To become healthy in our lives is more important than to become wealthy. The World No Tobacco Day or Anti Tobacco Day which falls on the 31st of May annually, is one such day that reminds us of the importance and value of leading a healthy life. The objective of celebrating The World No Tobacco Day is to educate the people, especially the smokers about the adverse health impacts of smoking and chewing tobacco that causes lung cancer and many other severe diseases.

The theme for The World No Tobacco Day 2019 is “Tobacco and lung health.” This year’s campaign aims to raise awareness on the fundamental role the lung performs for the health and well-being of the people and also on the negative impacts that tobacco has on lung health ranging from cancers to chronic respiratory diseases.

Tobacco has endangered and still continues to endanger the lives of several millions as it contains a detrimental substance called Nicotine. Tobacco smoking is found to be the fundamental cause for lung cancers worldwide. In fact, tobacco smoking accounts for 2/3rd of global lung cancer deaths. Further passive smoking has found to be another leading cause for lung cancers. According to the reports of the World Health Organization, the risk of lung cancer can be halved to that of a smoker after 10 years of quitting smoking. Thus, the most effective way to reduce the risk of lung cancer is to quit smoking and to avoid the exposure to passive smoking.

Tobacco smoking also lead to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which is resulted due to the build up and accumulation of pus filled mucus in the lungs. This leads to painful coughing and breathing difficulties that could be fatal. The risk of developing COPD is higher among the smokers who start smoking since their early age as smoking can significantly slow down the lung development. Thus, quitting smoking during the early times is the most effective measure to reduce the development of COPD condition.

Further, tobacco smoking can accelerate the risk of Tuberculosis by damaging the lungs and reducing the lung function.

Tobacco smoke has been identified as one of the leading indoor air pollutants as it contains over 7000 chemicals, 69 of which are carcinogenic. Even after the smoke odor cannot be smelled, it can still linger in the air up to 5 hours thus increasing the situations of passive smoking to non smokers.

Another crucial adverse consequence of tobacco smoking is the impaired lung growth and function among the infants through maternal smoking or passive smoking. Thus, these infants are highly prone to diseases like asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis. The health reports of the World Health Organization states that about 60,000 children below age the 5, die globally due to passive smoking. Those who survive till their adulthood are highly prone to COPD situation as they were exposed to smoking since their childhood.

The most effective measure to reduce lung diseases is to reduce tobacco smoking and exposure to passive smoke. However, despite the knowledge on harmful effects of tobacco on lung health, the number of lung disease cases recorded each year seems to be rising considerably. Thus, countries should take necessary actions to develop, implement and enforce the effective tobacco control policies which are aimed to reduce tobacco smoking. Further, countries should allocate more funds to research more on treatment measures to reduce the rate of mortality from lung diseases. Parents and other members of the community should take necessary communal actions to promote the importance of good health to the children since prevention is better than cure.

Our lives are on our hands to make it worth of living. Thus, we should value our lives dearly since we cannot retrieve it back once it is lost. We should be wise enough to not to lose our lives doing meaningless and senseless things like tobacco smoking that would later make us regret. Only a healthy person would walk far in the journey called life. Thus, say no to tobacco to inculcate a healthy life style and to live a rapturously joyous long life!

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