Monday, 8 February 2016

Tobacco control a development issue

Health and development experts in Kerala have applauded India’s commitment to tobacco control reflected in the first ‘South Asian Speakers’ Summit on Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)’ that concluded in Dhaka, Bangladesh last week.

India has endorsed the ‘Dhaka Declaration on SDG Action in South Asia’ that envisions making the region tobacco free by 2030. With this, India has agreed to “develop, strengthen and enforce tobacco-control policies, legislation and regulations” in line with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). FCTC is the international treaty on tobacco control of the World Health Organisation, which India ratified on 5 February 2004.

Through this Declaration, India has also agreed to work towards decreasing the affordability of all tobacco products by increasing tobacco taxes and “endeavour to set aside revenue generated from tobacco taxes to support tobacco control efforts.”

The Dhaka Declaration emerged after two days of deliberations by the Parliament Speakers of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka on 30 and 31 January 2016.

Hon’ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha Smt Sumitra Mahajan chaired a session on “The Role of Parliaments in Implementing the SDGs”.

Shri CP John, Member, Kerala State Planning Board said, “Addressing public health issues has become a challenge in emerging economies. Tobacco use in different forms is a major threat to public health and development. Unfortunately, tobacco abuse found in marginal communities is wrongly conceived as a tradition. So the state should come forward in controlling tobacco use by strong enforcement and regular monitoring while the responsible citizenry should take the lead in educating the masses through wide public awareness programmes.”

Tobacco control has been included as a target under Goal 3 – Health and Well-being – of SDGs 2015-30.

Dr KR Thankappan, Professor and Head, Achutha Menon Centre for Health Science Studies said, “As the country is grappling with shrinking health budgets, India’s strategy to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases through controlling tobacco use is a welcome step. Multi-sectoral efforts to reduce tobacco use which kills 1 million Indians a year are the need-of-the-hour.”

The South Asian Speakers’ Summit also announced the establishment of South Asian Speakers’ Forum that will meet at least once a year. India will host the second meeting of South Asian Speakers’ Forum in 2017.

The Bangladesh Summit was convened and organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and was hosted by the Bangladesh Parliament with technical support from Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 
Read more ...

Thursday, 4 February 2016

ഒരു പുക കൂടി

ഒരു പുക കൂടി (കല്‍പ്പറ്റ നാരായണൻ )

പോലീസ് വരുന്നുണ്ടോ
എന്നിടം വലം നോക്കി
വലിക്കണോ കളയണോ എന്നായ എന്നോട്
ഒച്ച താഴ്ത്തി ബീഡി പറഞ്ഞു:
എനിക്ക് വയ്യ ഇങ്ങനെ നാണംകെട്ട് കഴിയാന്‍.
നിങ്ങള്‍ക്കറിയുമോ
ഒരിക്കല്‍ ചങ്കൂറ്റത്തിന്റെ പ്രതിരൂപമായിരുന്നു ഞാന്‍.
കൂസലില്ലാതെ ജീവിച്ചവരുടെ ചുണ്ടില്‍
ഞാന്‍ ജ്വലിച്ചു.
നട്ടപ്പാതിരകളും കാട്ടിടകളും
എനിക്ക് ഹൃദിസ്ഥം.
എന്റെ വെളിച്ചത്തില്‍
ഒറ്റത്തടിപ്പാലങ്ങള്‍ തെളിഞ്ഞു.
അന്നൊക്കെ ലക്ഷ്യങ്ങളിലേക്ക്
അഞ്ചും എട്ടും ബീഡിയുടെ ദൂരം.
ചുമരെഴുതാനും
പോസ്റ്ററൊട്ടിക്കാനും
പാട്ടെഴുതാനും ഞാന്‍ കൂടി.
മാറ്റത്തിന് ഞാന്‍ കൂട്ടിരുന്നു.
കയ്യൂരിലും പുല്‍പ്പള്ളിയിലും
കൈപൊള്ളുന്നത് വരെ ഞാനെരിഞ്ഞു.
നാടകവേദികള്‍ക്ക് വേണ്ടി
ഫിലിംസൊസൈറ്റികള്‍ക്ക് വേണ്ടി
ഞാനുറക്കൊഴിച്ചു.
ഞാന്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കാത്ത പ്രസ്ഥാനങ്ങളില്ല.
തണുപ്പില്‍, ഇരുട്ടില്‍
ചെയ്യുന്ന പ്രവൃത്തിയുടെ ഗുരുതരമായ ഏകാന്തതയില്‍
ഞാനായിരുന്നു തുണ.
അന്ന്
എന്നെ ആഞ്ഞു വലിച്ച് ആണ്‍കുട്ടികള്‍
ആണുങ്ങളായി.
എന്നെ കട്ടു വലിച്ച് പെണ്‍കുട്ടികള്‍
പുലരും വരെ മുലകളുയര്‍ത്തിച്ചുമച്ച്
സാഹസികജീവിതം എളുതല്ലെന്ന് മനസ്സിലാക്കി.
എല്ലാ കുമാര്‍ഗങ്ങളിലും
ഞങ്ങള്‍ സഞ്ചരിച്ചു.
അക്കാലത്തെ തീവണ്ടികള്‍ പോലെ
ഉള്ളില്‍ തീയുള്ളവരുടെ പുകയായി
മുന്നില്‍നിന്ന് ഞാന്‍ നയിച്ചു.
പുകഞ്ഞ കൊള്ളിയായിരുന്നു ഞാന്‍
ഭാഗം ചോദിച്ച് മുണ്ട് മാടിക്കുത്തി മുറ്റത്തു നിന്ന
ചെറുപ്പക്കാരന്റെ കൈയില്‍ ഞാനിരുന്ന് പുകഞ്ഞു.
കൂലി കൂടുതല്‍ ചോദിക്കാന്‍
മടിക്കുത്തിലിരുന്ന് ഞാനുശിരു കൂട്ടി.
തീണ്ടലും തൊടീലും ഞാന്‍ പുകച്ചുകളഞ്ഞു.
ഒരു പുകകൂടിയെടുത്ത്
നടന്മാര്‍ വേദിയിലേക്ക്
സദസ്യര്‍ ഹാളിലേക്ക്
തൊഴിലാളികള്‍ തൊഴിലിലേക്ക് കയറി.
തല പുകഞ്ഞെടുത്ത തീരുമാനങ്ങളിലെല്ലാം ഞാനും കൂടി
തീ തരുമോ എന്ന് പില്‍ക്കാലം മുന്‍കാലത്തിനോട് ചോദിച്ചു.
കഴുകന്മാര്‍ കരള്‍ കൊത്തി വലിക്കുമ്പോഴും
ഒരു പുകയ്ക്കു കൂടി ഇരന്നവരുണ്ട്
നിങ്ങളിന്നനുഭവിക്കുന്നതിലൊക്കെ
കത്തിത്തീര്‍ന്ന ഞങ്ങളുണ്ട്.
നേരാണ്
ഞാനൊരു ദുശ്ശീലമാണ്.
എങ്കിലും ആശ്വാസങ്ങളില്ലാത്ത മനുഷ്യന്
ദുശ്ശീലത്തോളം ഉതകുന്ന മിത്രമുണ്ടോ?
നരകത്തിലല്ലാതെ
സ്വര്‍ഗത്തില്‍ മിത്രങ്ങള്‍ വേണമോ?
ശവത്തിനു കാവല്‍ നില്ക്കുന്ന പാവം പോലീസുകാരന്
തൂക്കിക്കൊല്ലാന്‍ വിധിക്കപ്പെട്ട ഏകാകിക്ക്
പങ്കിട്ടെടുക്കാനാരുമില്ലാത്ത പാപഭാരത്തിന്
ഉറപ്പിന്
ഉറപ്പില്ലായ്മയ്ക്ക്
ഞാന്‍ കൂട്ടിരുന്നു,
ആടുന്ന പാലത്തില്‍ ഞാന്‍ കൂടെ നിന്നു.
എനിക്കറിയാം,
ഞാന്‍ നന്നല്ല
ആരോഗ്യത്തിന്
കുടുംബഭദ്രതയ്ക്ക്
ഭാവിഭദ്രതയ്ക്ക്.
സ്വന്തം ചിതയ്ക്ക് തീകൊളുത്തുകയാണ്
ബീഡിക്ക് തീ കൊളുത്തുമ്പോള്‍
പക്ഷേ,
ആയുസ്സോ സുരക്ഷിതത്വമോ
ഓര്‍മ വരാത്ത ചിലരുണ്ടായിരുന്നു ഒരിക്കല്‍
അവരെന്നെ അവര്‍ പോയിടത്തൊക്കെ കൂട്ടി
എരിഞ്ഞുതീരുന്ന എന്നെ നോക്കി
അവരുന്മേഷത്തോടെ എരിഞ്ഞു.
കണ്ടില്ലേ
ഞാന്‍ മാത്രം കൂട്ടുണ്ടായിരുന്ന അരക്ഷിതരെ
വേട്ടയാടിയ നിയമം
ഇന്നെന്നെ വേട്ടയാടുന്നത്?
കണ്ടില്ലേ,
ബീഡിക്കമ്പനികള്‍ വര്‍ണക്കുടകള്‍ നിര്‍മിക്കുന്നത്?
കേള്‍ക്കുന്നില്ലേ,
'ഈ പുകച്ചു കളയുന്നതിന് ഭാഗ്യക്കുറി വാങ്ങിക്കൂടെ?'
Read more ...

Monday, 1 February 2016

Cherry-flavoured e-cigarettes most harmful to users

Users of cherry-flavoured electronic cigarettes may be exposed to a potentially harmful respiratory chemical, a new study has warned.

Researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in US found that high levels of the respiratory irritant benzaldehyde were detected in the vapour from most of the flavoured nicotine products, with the highest concentrations in vapour from cherry-flavoured products.

Benzaldehyde is a compound used in many foods and cosmetic products. While it appears to be safe when ingested or applied on the skin, it has been shown to cause airway irritation in animals and humans, and may have different effects when heated and inhaled, as when used in vaping.

Researchers measured benzaldehyde levels for 145 different flavoured nicotine products using an automatic smoking simulator and calculated daily exposure to users from 163 e-cigarette puffs.

Their analysis detected benzaldehyde in the vapour from 108 (74 per cent) of the flavoured products studied, and found concentrations of the chemical that were 43 times higher in cherry-flavoured products than in other flavours.

"For e-cigarette users, it is important that they pay attention to how the products are affecting them," said Maciej Goniewicz from RPCI.

"If they notice irritation, maybe a cough or sore throat, when they use e-cigarettes, they might want to consider switching to a different flavouring," Goniewicz said. 

The findings were published in the journal Thorax. 

Source: Economic Times
Read more ...

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

header

Dear Friends,

India is the second largest consumer of tobacco in the world.

Tobacco use in all forms is harmful and addictive.

Tobacco use is associated with cancers of various kinds especially oral and lung cancer, heart and lung disease.

HELP YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES QUIT TOBACCO


REGISTER FOR FREE:

GIVE A MISSED CALL TO 011-22901701 OR:

LOGIN AT http://www.nhp.gov.in/quit-tobacco

JOIN HANDS FOR A TOBACCO FREE INDIA!!
mCessation Team
Telemedicine Division
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
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For more information log in at http://www.nhp.gov.in/quit-tobacco
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Beedi proven a villian again!

Beedi, which has for long known to be a source of cancers of lung and oral cavity, is proven to be a causative risk factor for gastric cancers as well. The first cohort study on the subject in India conducted by Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) and published in a recent issue of the prestigious World Journal of Gastroenterology shows that beedi smokers have an elevated gastric cancer (GC) risk as compared to never smokers.

The study ‘Gastric cancer risk in relation to tobacco use and alcohol drinking in Kerala, India’ carried out in Karunagappally in coastal Kollam covered 65,553 men between the ages of 30 and 84 during the 1990-2009 period. 

Beedi smoking was found to increase the risk of GC among never cigarette smokers more evidently with a relative risk (RR) of 2.2.  

GC risk increases with number and duration of beedi smoking. Those who started beedi smoking below the age of 18 and between 18-22 years had a RR of 2.0 and 1.8 respectively for developing gastric cancers as against the risk of never-beedi smokers.

RR is a statistical measure that explains the probability of developing a disease; higher the RR, higher the risk.

During the period from 1990 to 1997, every resident of Karunagappally taluk was surveyed for socio-demographic and other lifestyle-related factors as a part of the investigation. A detailed questionnaire was used to elicit factors such as household socioeconomic status, religion, education, income, and occupation along with lifestyle factors such as smoking and drinking habits, and dietary practices. 

In what could send strong signals to public health advocates, the study has found a strong association between GC incidence and occupational patterns. Of the 116 gastric cancers identified at the end of the study period in 2009, 51 cases were in farmers and fishermen followed by 28 cases in persons doing white-collar jobs. 

The study has been supported by Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India; the Health Research Foundation, Japan; and Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

Dr P Jayalekshmi, Associate Professor, Cancer Epidemiology, RCC and Dr Paul Sebastian, Director, RCC conceived and designed the study.

The entire study can be accessed here
Read more ...

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Use of Tobacco can be controlled with support of media: Kerala’s top cop

Tobacco use in the State could be more effectively countered if the media would give strong support to the police, said Kerala police chief Shri T.P. Senkumar IPS.

He was inaugurating a media workshop on the ‘Role of Media and Police for Sustainable Tobacco Control in Kerala’ organised by Kesari Memorial Journalists Trust and Tobacco Free Kerala, here on Tuesday.

According to Shri Senkumar, the media should take the initiative to better bring to the public’s notice the benefits of not using tobacco. “Sustainable tobacco control can be achieved in Kerala only through awareness campaigns to students on its dangers,” he said.

“Though social media, which is hugely influential, can be used for creating awareness, there are also several underlying threats. It is seen that while smoking is on the decline in Kerala, other dreaded drugs are in rampant use,” Shri Senkumar said.

However, he added, social media is also prone to being misused – for such activities as the sale of drugs. “There are even cyber quotation teams functioning in the state,” he said.

Though there will be impediments, Shri Senkumar said momentum must not wane. Recalling that he had faced hurdles when he imposed the ban on smoking in jails during his tenure as DGP (Prisons) – “the Home Minister received around 250 complaints in a month”, he said “as soon as the prisoners recognised its good effects there were no complaints”.

Shri P.G. Sureshkumar, Asianet News co-ordinating editor, moderated of the workshop. He emphasised the need for joint efforts by health, police and excise officials along with the intervention of responsible media for effective tobacco control.

“A positive result can be achieved only if awareness is created that the use of tobacco is not only injurious to our health, but also for others around us,” he said.

Dr A.S. Pradeep Kumar, former additional director of health services (Public Health) and former nodal officer of tobacco control in Kerala, said, “The media should play a proactive role to inform the public about the products containing tobacco that are available in the market.

“There have been instances in social media, magazines and newspapers where products like e-cigarettes, which are more dangerous than ordinary cigarettes, were being promoted.”

As part of protecting children from the dangers of tobacco use, said Shanghumugham ACP Shri Jawahar Janard, the police have formed school protection groups, installed complaint boxes, held tobacco control rallies and conducted Teens Mission Safety programmes with the help of psychologists and doctors.

“Statutory warnings against smoking will be placed at Kesari Memorial building and it will be made a smoke-free area,” said Kesari Trust president Shri C. Rahim. “In following the example of their elders, the new generation is going down the same dangerous path. The use of tobacco by women, in particular, will have far-reaching consequences,” he added.

“Around 42 per cent of cancers seen among men in Kerala is due to tobacco use,” said Regional Cancer Centre Asst Prof Dr R. Jayakrishnan, who expressed hope that Kerala could be transformed into a model state in controlling tobacco use with the support of the police, the media, the youth and the society at large.
Read more ...

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Kerala Police tightens the noose on public smokers

Indicating and reinforcing their strong commitment for public health, the 56,000-plus Kerala Police force has tightened the noose on public smokers. 

Figures of police action against public smoking for this July-September quarter show over 85 per cent jump as compared to the same period last year. As many as 47,282 persons were fined during the quarter for violating the no-public smoking provision of the Indian tobacco control law COTPA, 2003.

This is a record-high number ever since Kerala Police started an online system of COTPA violations reporting in October 2012.

Of the total 20 police districts, 17 districts have recorded action against public smokers in September 2015, as per the latest figures in the official police website. For the sake of administrative convenience, 14 revenue districts of the state have been divided into 20 police districts.

The impressive performance showcased during the quarter also comes from doubling and tripling of efforts by six district police teams as compared to July-September 2014. These include, Thiruvananthapuram City; Pathanamthitta; Ernakulam City; Thrissur City; Palakkad and Malappuram.

In Malappuram, for instance, the number of persons fined has increased from 52 during last July-September quarter to 5,726 in the same period this year. Palakkad has witnessed an over nine-fold increase, from 503 to 4,619.

The State Police Chief Shri TP Senkumar IPS said, “Kerala Police takes its commitment of safeguarding the health of our people very seriously.  We realise the dangerous impact of second-hand smoke and do not want our non-smoking population to suffer silently in public places. Action against COTPA violations are reviewed every month in the crime review meetings.” The Clean Campus, Safe Campus programme launched by the Government on 30 May 2014 has strengthened COTPA implementation and tobacco control, Shri Senkumar added.

In the interest of non-smokers, Section 4 of COTPA prohibits smoking in public places including bus stands, cinema halls, restaurants, hotels, pubs, and bars. It also mandates setting up of 60 x 30 cm signages in white, black and red colours. Violations including public smoking and absence of requisite signages can be fined up to Rs 200 on the spot.

As per figures of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2009-10 of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the World Health Organisation, 30 per cent of men and 8.5 per cent of women are exposed to second-hand smoke in public places. 
Read more ...

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Tobacco litter a potential threat

Tobacco use has not only been inducing cancer but is also leaving the environment polluted, spreading diseases and possibly contaminating food, says a body of oncologists in Kolkata. 

Cigarette and bidi butts, along with chewing tobacco spits littered on streets, should be classified as toxic wastes, they have claimed, pointing to a recent application filed by a doctors' organization with the National Green Tribunal. The possibility of tobacco litter was sharper in Kolkata since the city has more smokers that most other metros, according to Bengal Oncology Foundation. 

Responding to an application filed by Mumbai-based NGO Doctors for You, the NGT has directed the Union ministries of environment and health and the Central Pollution Control Board to file their response on the harm caused by cigarette, bidi butts and chewing tobacco to the environment. 

"Cigarette butts consist of carcinogens, nicotine and toxic metals such as cadmium, arsenic and lead in a highly concentrated form. All these pose high risk to public health. Action must be taken at the earliest to contain such hazardous litter, said Subir Ganguly, Vice President, Bengal Oncology. 

He added that the possibility of cigarette butts transmitting diseases couldn't be ruled out. "In Kolkata, it is not uncommon for people, even children, to smoke cigarette or bidi ends picked up from the road. Apart from the metals that the ends contain, they could also transmit diseases. Tobacco spits, on the other hand, are even more infectious since they have saliva which helps to transmit diseases," explained Ganguly. 

Research has shown that about 25%-50% of litter accumulated from the streets comprises tobacco residues. A 100 billion non-biodegradable butts are released in the environment every year. 

The possibility of tobacco contamination was a real one, said oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay, Secretary of Bengal Oncology. 

"Food sold on the streets is vulnerable since they remain uncovered. 

Utensils used by hawkers are often washed and stored very close to garbage dumps full of tobacco wastes," he added. 

Doctors for You cited the example of the Howrah Bridge, whose pillars are corroding due to acids in tobacco spit. "We need to build awareness on the of littering. Unless habits change, it will be difficult to curb tobacco litter," said Kalyan Rudra, Chairman of the State Pollution Control Board. 

Even though smoking in and around hospitals, government offices and educational institutions is prohibited, the rule is routinely flouted in Kolkata. 

Most hospital staircases and corridors in the city are heavily smeared with tobacco spits and peppered with cigarette ends. "Nothing could be more unhealthy than this since patients are more susceptible to infections. Unless smoking in public was banned, it would be difficult to control tobacco litter, felt Ganguly.

Source: Times of India

Read more ...

Friday, 13 November 2015

Seek adventure in sports and higher career goals, not tobacco: Manisha Koirala

Children should find adventure in sports and higher career goals and not be drawn to tobacco use for the temporary excitement it provides, popular pan-India actress Ms Manisha Koirala said.

In a personal message addressed to “dear people of Kerala” in connection with Children’s Day, Ms Koirala who has successfully battled cancer, urged children to keep away from dangerous vices such as tobacco use.

The ‘Dil Se’ actress also wished “all children a very healthy and joyous life.”

Ms Koirala, a Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), hailed the Tobacco Free Kerala campaign as a model worthy of emulation by the rest of the country.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate the Kerala Government headed by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy for initiating this campaign for promoting healthy lifestyles,” she wrote.

Significantly, it was on Children’s Day last year that Kerala was declared the first state in India to become tobacco advertisement-free at the points of sale. This achievement driven by the Health and Police Departments has brought Kerala fame both nationally and internationally.

Ms Koirala has portrayed roles of chain-smoking characters. Numerous scientific studies have shown that smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke and tobacco use causes cancer.
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