In order to reduce the tobacco consumption, exposure of second hand smoke and to promote next generation tobacco free, villages in Gujarat pledge to go tobacco free. On the occasion of “International Childhood Cancer Day” celebrating on 15/02/2021, Faith Foundation in collaboration with sarpanchs of 100 villages declared as smoke free.
According to this, smoking in public place, sale of tobacco to minor and sale to tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions is prohibited. This is to ensure further steps towards “Tobacco Free Generation 2030”
Tobacco use kills 54 lakh people worldwide and 13.5 lakh people in India every year. This mortality rate is even higher than death from HIV, TB and malaria altogether. Oral cancer rates are highest in India, according to GLOBACOM’S 2018 report. Mainly due to tobacco use, lung cancer affects about 21 million people worldwide and kills 1.8 million people.
Talking about secondhand smoke according to the report of global adult tobacco survey GATS in India about 37.9% of adults are exposed to secondhand smoke at home & 20.9% are at the workplace. This accounts for 0.9 million deaths annually.
To reduce second hand smoke exposure, India enacted a smoke-free law “Cigarettes and other tobacco products act” in 2003 and the Sec 4 – ban on smoking in public places came into force on 2nd October 2008 in Gujarat.
Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. Secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer.
Secondhand smoke can cause serious health problems in children. Studies show that older children whose parents smoke get sick more often. Their lungs grow less than children who do not breathe secondhand smoke, and they get more bronchitis and pneumonia. Wheezing and coughing are more common in children who breathe secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in a child. Children with asthma who are around secondhand smoke have more severe and frequent asthma attacks. A severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger.
Children whose parents smoke around them get more ear infections. They also have fluid in their ears more often and have more operations to put in ear tubes for drainage.
“Second hand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including more frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Smoking during pregnancy results in more than 1,000 infant deaths annually. So there is a need to seriously think about the effects and take proper action to save the future generations,” Said Susan Samson from Faith Foundation.