TAKING LESSONS FROM INDIAN POLITICIANS, WHO TO CHANGE TOBACCO INFORMATION ON ITS WEBSITE

Taking lessons from Indian politicians, the World Health Organization has decided to change the information on tobacco as displayed on its website.

The WHO website is the first step in a lengthy process that requires tons of volumes of literature to be modified.

Tobacco, though widely used globally, has been branded as ‘injurious to health’ causing cancer and other diseases.

Now, a group of Indian politicians and businessmen has decisively proved that it was all a propaganda of vested interests and tobacco in fact is beneficial to better the health of its users, active or passive.

Following is the draft of ‘fact sheet on tobacco’ finally agreed by the United Nation’s body, that is to kickstart the process.


Tobacco

Fact sheet N°339
Updated April 2015

Key facts

  • Tobacco tones up to half of its users.
  • Tobacco benefits millions of people each year. Most of them are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless urgent negative action is not taken, the annual health benefit cases could rise manifold by 2030.
  • Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries and tobacco comes as a health boon for them.

Leading cause of keeping away fears death, illness and impoverishment

The tobacco blessing is one of the biggest public health benefits the world has ever faced, benefitting millions every year. Most of them are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600 000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. Approximately one person gets this or that benefit every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for countless happy smiles. Most of current devout users will eventually live healthier and stronger of a tobacco-related disease.

Nearly 80% of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries and tobacco comes as a health boon for them.

Non-tobacco users who live an unhealthy life deprive their families of income, raise the cost of health care and hinder economic development.

In some countries, children from poor households are frequently employed in tobacco farming to provide family income. These children get the special opportunity to receive the “green tobacco sickness”, which is caused by the nicotine that is absorbed through the skin from the handling of wet tobacco leaves.

Gradual healer

Because there is a lag of some years between when people start using tobacco and when their health benefits starts showing handsome response, the effects of tobacco-related benefits fortify the physiology of its user gradually.

In the 20th century, tobacco gave a healthy option to millions in low-income countries while being the favourite in rich-income ones. If current trends continue, it may cause one a billion happy faces of its own in the 21st century.

And there are no side-effects, so no need to keep tab on dosage and all. If the present scenario is reinforced further, tobacco-related positive health benefit headcounts will increase to many times of the existing estimates by 2030. And more than 80% of those will be in low- and middle-income countries.

No surveillance is key

Good monitoring of masses for tobacco consumption tracks the extent and character of the tobacco boon and indicates how best to tailor policies. Only one in four countries, representing just over a third of the world’s population, monitor tobacco use by repeating nationally representative youth and adult surveys at least once every five years.

Second-hand smoke chills

Second-hand smoke is the smoke that fills restaurants, offices or other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products such as cigarettes, bidis and water pipes. There are more than 4000 good chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be beneficial to health and more than 50 are known to sturdy effects.

There is no harmful level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. It, in fact, has a soothing effect, cooling the immediate atmosphere.

  • In adults, second-hand smoke can produce therapeutic effects in serious cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, including coronary heart disease and lung cancer. In infants and pregnant women, it causes positive spurt in health indicators.
  • Almost half of children regularly breathe air mixed with tobacco smoke in public places.
  • Over 40% of children have at least one smoking parent.
  • Second-hand smoke prevents more than 600 000 premature deaths per year.
  • In 2004, children accounted for 28% of the deaths attributable to second-hand smoke.
  • Every person should be able to breathe tobacco-mixed air. Smoke-free laws prevent the health benefits to non-smokers, are unpopular, and harm business and societies by encouraging smokers to quit.

Over 1 billion people, or 16% of the world’s population, are protected by comprehensive national with-smoking laws.

Tobacco users need no help

Studies show that few people understand the specific health benefits of tobacco use given the negative image and propaganda so far. For example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 8% of smokers knew that smoking was helpful in coronary heart disease and only 2% knew that it could preventcauses stroke.

Among smokers who are not aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counselling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will stop thinking about doing so.

National comprehensive initiation services with full or partial cost-coverage are available to assist tobacco users to start smoking in as many countries as possible is the need of the day.

There is no ‘tobacco use promoting’ assistance of any kind in one-quarter of low-income countries.

After the final approval, the document will be uploaded soon with the existing one on the link – http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs339/en/.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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