TODAY -

World No Tobacco Day 2024
Other than advanced age, smoking remains the single most important risk factor for coronary artery disease

Dr Ksh Kala Singh *



Theme: “Protecting children from tobacco industry interference”

World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31st May. The annual observance informs the public on the dangers of using tobacco, the business practices of tobacco companies, what the World Health Organization (WHO) is doing to fight against the use of their right to health and healthy living and to protect future generations.

The Member States of the WHO created World NO Tobacco Day in 1987 to draw global attention to the epidemic and the preventable death and disease it causes.

The day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to more than 8 million deaths each year worldwide, including 1.2 millions as the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. The day has been met with both enthusiasm and resistance around the globe from governments, public health organizations, smokers, growers and the tobacco industry.

The theme of World No Tobacco Day 2024 is "Protecting children from tobacco industry interference" to protect future generations and ensure that tobacco use continues to decline. This year, attention is directed towards the alarming trend of the tobacco industry's targeted marketing towards youth.

Through extensive social media and streaming platform campaigns, young people are increasingly exposed to the allure of tobacco products, posing a significant threat to their health and well-being. Country surveys consistently show that children aged 13–15 years in most countries are using tobacco and nicotine products.

The theme is focused on advocating for an end to the targeting of youth with harmful tobacco products. This discourse provides a platform for young people, policy-makers and tobacco control advocates globally to discuss the issues and to urge Governments to adopt policies that shield young people from the manipulative practices of the tobacco and related industries.

The tobacco industry is targeting youth for making billions of dollars in revenue and the industry needs to replace the millions of Customers who die and those who quit tobacco use every year. To achieve this goal it works to create an environment that promotes uptake of its products among the next generation and to ensure its products are available and affordable.

The industry also develops products and advertising tactics that appeal to children and adolescents, reaching them through social media and streaming platforms. Smoking among youth remains prevalent and is increasing in certain nations. More than 38 million young people aged between 13 and 15 are using some form of tobacco.

In 2022, scenes featuring tobacco increased by 110% in popular recent shows among 15- to 24-year olds, often portraying smoking as glamorous and cool. According to Truth Initiative young people are up to 3x more likely to start vaping when exposed to smoking imagery on screen.

31st May is the World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This year once again, WHO and public health champions from across the globe will come together to raise awareness about the harmful influences of the tobacco industry on youth.

HARMFUL CONTAINS OF TOBACCO

Some of the important harmful contains of tobacco are NICOTINE, TAR, BENZOPYRENE, CARBON MONOXIDE, ARSENIC, CADMIUM, AMMONIA, TURPENTINE, METHOPRENE ACETONE, LEAD, PROPYLENE GLYCOL etc. (A) Harmful effects of tobacco use on the newborn babies heart are:

(i) Congenital Defects of the Heart. Pregnant women with smokers will cause defects in developing heart of the Foetus, particularly in the formation of the septum of the heart thereby causing holes of the Septum (Atrial Septum Defect, Ventricular Septum defect etc). The Congenital defects of the Heart particularly TOF (Tetralogy of Fallot) & PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) are found in those pregnant women of chronic smokers.

(ii) Dead foetus: It may be due to the side effect of the carbon monoxide & Nicotine to the cardiovascular system of the foetus through the placental circulation.

(iii) Pre-term baby: Delivery before the full term may occur in those mothers who are chronic smokers and tobacco users due to delayed development in different organs of the foetus.

(iv) Low birth weight baby: Due to improper Development of Lung & Cardiovascular system.

(B) HARMFUL EFFECTS OF TOBACCO USE IN ADULT HEART

Chronic use of Tobacco Causes: (i) Raise triglycerides (a type of fat in blood).& decreases high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC-C) levels.

(ii) Make blood sticky and more likely to clot, which can block blood flow to the heart and brain.

(iii) Damage cells that line the blood Vessels and initiate endothelial dysfunction.

(iv) Increased the buildup of plaque (fat,cholesterol, Calcium and other substances) in blood vessels & increased thrombogenesis.

(v) Cause thickening and narrowing of blood Vessels.

As a result of these effects Atheroscclerosis (Thickening & Stiffness of Vessels), Hypertension (High Blood pressure), Heart attack ( coronary artery disease), Stroke (bleeding in the brain), Aneurysm (weakening, dilatation & enlargement of blood-vessels), Peripheral Vascular disease(Buerger’s disease), Heart failure (when the Heart cannot pump enough blood & oxygen to support other organs), Arrhythmia (when the heart beats too fast,too slow or irregular) and other disorders of the cardiovascular system etc. will occur to the chronic tobacco users causing heart disease actually result in more death per year than smoking caused lung cancer.

Thirty percent of heart disease deaths are caused by cigarette smoking. Also smoking is the single largest preventable cause of heart disease in the United States. Second-hand smoke:It is a much greater problem than many people realize.

Second-hand smoke is a combination of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, Pipe, or Cigar and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. It is estimated that 37,000 Coronary heart disease deaths per year are caused by exposure to second-hand smoke in the United States.

Nonsmokers who breathe second-hand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25-30%. Second-hand smoke increases the risk for stroke by 20- 30%.

Quit Smoking Today

People who quit smoking dramatically reduce their risk of dying from heart disease. The body begins to repair itself almost immediately. Quitting can help people who already have heart disease. People who quit smoking can cut their risk of having another heart attack or dying of heart disease in half. When a smoker quits the risk of heart disease death begins to fall almost immediately, but it takes ten years for the risk to approach that of a nonsmoker.

World NO Tobacco Day 2024 calls on the Governments and tobacco control community to protect current and future generations and to hold the tobacco industry liable for the harm it causes.

The world suffers a lot. not because of the violence of bad people. But because of the silence of good people
- Napoleon


* Dr Ksh Kala Singh (M.Ch) wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is president of Manipur Heart Care Society
This article was webcasted on May 31 2024.



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