The theme for this year’s World chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Day was “Breathing is Life – Act Earlier”. While COPD progresses, people find it more difficult to carry out their normal daily activities, often due to progressively increasing breathlessness, experts underlined. Among others, causes of COPD include tobacco smoking—cigarette and bidi smoking. In fact it is the primary reason for it. Also non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are also at risk of developing COPD. Prolonged exposure to workplace pollutants and irritants, such as dust, chemicals, and fumes, also rises the risk of developing COPD apart from use of biomass fuels like coal and wood for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated spaces.
According to the report of the second round of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2), 2016-17, mortality due to tobacco in India is estimated at upwards of 1.3 million (over 13 lakhs).
Among others, the government says that steps taken by it to regulate tobacco consumption include
A “comprehensive legislation”, namely the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA 2003) to regulate the use of tobacco products has been enacted to discourage the use of tobacco, with a view to achieve improvement of public health in general as enshrined in Article 47 of the Constitution. The provisions under COTPA, 2003 and the Rules made thereunder mandate prohibition of smoking in public places; ban on sale of tobacco products to and by minors, sale of tobacco products within a radius of 100 yards of educational institutions; prohibition on direct and indirect advertising of tobacco products and mandatory display of specified health warnings.
To further accelerate the efforts towards tobacco control, Government launched National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2007-08.
The National Tobacco Control Programme aims at discouraging the use of tobacco with special emphasis on protection of children and young people; create awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption through regular and sustained public awareness campaigns. Enforcement efforts are also monitored by the State Tobacco Control Cells (STCCs) and District Tobacco Control Cells (DTCCs).
The health experts insist that it is imperative to quit when there’s still time or else it may create unnecessary complications pertaining to health. Everyone must realize that tobacco, whether smoked, sniffed, eaten or vaped, eventually brings myriad diseases. It is high time to quit smoking and the earlier the better.