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Posted on May 30, 2015 |



During emperor Akbar’s reign Portuguese sailors brought tobacco to India in 16th century, WHO estimates there are 1100 million smokers worldwide of which 800 million (73%) are in developing countries. Due to tobacco use about 3 million deaths occur every year, expected to rise to 10 million per year over next 30-40 years, if immediate interventions are not undertaken.

Indian council of medical research (ICMR) reports, India is 4th largest producer of tobacco in the world and second after China in cigarette and Bidi production. Nearly 45% Indian men and 12% of Indian women use some form of tobacco, death rate is 3 times higher in smoker than non smokers of all ages. In India tobacco use kills 90 persons every minute, it is predicted that  by 2020, 13% of all deaths will be due to tobacco use.

There is a huge economic impact of tobacco consumption , we spend rupees 27761 crores in treating tobacco related diseases.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4000 chemicals causing great health hazards like COPD, cancer of lungs, larynx, oral cavity , pharynx, oesophagus, leukemia, hyper tension and exacerbation of ASTHMA, impotence and infertility. Smoking also harms those around smokers by second hand smoke. Smokers are at the risk of developing TB 2-4 times more than in non smokers. Tobacco smoking and tuberculosis are two major public health problems in developing countries. Relapse rate of TB are also more in smokers than in non smokers. Smoking is also one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution which acts as a trigger to ASTHMA symptoms, rhinitis and upper respiratory tract infection.

Supreme Court of India has made a ban on smoking in public places. Intervention for smoking cessation has become an urgent need because of increasing tobacco use and health hazards. There are pharmacological and non pharmacological interventions are available.
Awareness education and motivation are the keys to success of smoking cessation treatment.


Dr Qamar Husain Ansari,
Sr. Consultant Pulmonologist, 
Apollo Health City, Hyderabad