How many of us register the anti-smoking ads we see on television or before a movie starts in a theatre? Not many. In fact, some hate the makers of these ad films for showing morbid images of rotting organs. In case you have reacted in a similar manner ever, take a moment to think seriously about the issue. In India, one million people die due to tobacco-related diseases each year. Tobacco consumption affects every organ of the body triggering cancers of the oral cavity, lung, pharynx and esophagus. Besides direct or indirect tobacco consumption through smoking affects reproductive health, digestive process, vision, bone metabolism, hypertension, diabetes, and dental problems, among others.
Keeping health and wellbeing of its employees and stakeholders in mind, Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), Tata Power’s wholly owned subsidiary, organized an awareness programme on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on May 31st, 2016. The main objective behind this programme was to sensitize participants on ill health effects of tobacco consumption.
Some of the topics covered as part of the programme included ‘sources of tobacco and its products’, ‘ill-effects of consuming tobacco-based products’, ‘ways to quit consumption of tobacco products’, and ‘benefits associated with quitting tobacco’. The medical team of CGPL ensured that the programme was interactive by encouraging participants to share their experiences on dependency on tobacco-based products. Post analysis of each case, valuable professional guidance was provided on ways to quit tobacco gradually.
Before starting the programme, CGPL’s understanding of tobacco consumption patterns in rural communities and its commitment to positively contribute to the society. As opposed to the global trend according to which smoking is the main form in which tobacco is consumed, in India, more people prefer direct consumption. Due to lack of awareness, this practice is prevalent in rural communities across the country.
World No Tobacco Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns set up by WHO and is observed on May 31. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption including smoking, chewing tobacco, sniffing, and the like. The day is further earmarked to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and its negative health effects, which currently lead to nearly 6 million deaths each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.