Tobacco consumption and its impact on health

Tobacco is a major risk factor for a number of diseases affecting all age groups. In a discussion with experts, we explore the possible impact of tobacco on human health.

The growing use of tobacco is a cause of great concern around the world due to its serious effects on health. Tobacco kills over 8 million people every year, and it also destroys our environments needed for health and wellbeing. Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. It causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

WHO data shows that one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease. The situation is equally bad in India with estimated number of tobacco users being 274.9 million where 163.7 million users of only smokeless tobacco, 68.9 million only smokers and 42.3 million users of both smoking and smokeless tobacco as per Global Adult Tobacco Survey India (GATS). It means around 35% of adults (47.9% males and 20.3% females) in India use tobacco in some form or the other. Use of smokeless tobacco is more prevalent in India (21%).

Learn more about the impact of smoking/tobacco on health as Ms Sheela Krishnaswamy discusses the topic with senior pulmonologist Dr K S Satish and Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Sachin Arora.

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