To sensitizethe students about the health hazards associated with the consumption ofTobacco Products, Amity Institute of Public Health (AIPH) in association withVoice of Tobacco Victims organized a Symposium on ‘Tobacco Free Society - SaveChildren’ at Amity University, Sector 125, Noida.
The objective ofthe Symposium was Anti Tobacco Advocacy & Counseling and to explore anopportunity to establish Tobacco Counseling Centre/ Tobacco De-addiction Centrein Amity
Sh. DineshTrivedi, Member of Parliament, Former Union Railway Minister; Sh. AshwiniChoubey, Member of Parliament, Former Health Minister of Bihar; Dr. VedantKabra, Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon; Mr. Sanjay Seth,Chief of Operations, Sambandh Health Foundation, Gurgaon; Ms. Ashima Sarin,Director Voice of Tobacco Victms (VOTV) and Dr. (Prof.) Balvinder Shukla, Vice ChancellorAmity University Uttar Pradesh inaugurated the symposium.
Welcoming theguests, Dr Rajiv Janardhanan, Dir & Head, AIPH said “Tobaccocontinues to have devastating effect on human health and every yearapproximately 42% of the cancer deaths are due to tobacco related illness.” Heempathized that though there has been a decline in consumption of Tobacco indeveloped countries like USA but a huge disparity exists in emerging economiesdue to which gaps in health equity persist. He averred that Tobacco use is thesingle most preventable cause of death and disease, hence, it is important toinculcate the concept of Health Literacy against the menace of Tobaccoespecially amongst the youth.
Addressing thegathering, Sh. Dinesh Trivedi, Member of Parliament said that somepeople are well aware about the consequences of consumption of tobacco butstill consume it which causes grave heath issues. He stressed that the evilepidemic of tobacco consumption could only be eliminated with strict selfdiscipline by every individual and just not by getting intimidated.Highlighting the effects of Passive Smoking, Sh Trivedi said that tobaccoisequally dangerous for non-smokers who are exposed to passive smoking. Frequentexposure to other people's smoke can increase risk of having diseases amongstnon-smokers as well. He urged the youngsters to get rid of false notions andnot to get influenced by others.
Sharing hisviews, Dr. Vedant Kabra, Director and Head Neck Cancer Surgeon, FortisMemorial Research Institute, Gurgaon said that nearly 50% of the cancerdiseases are preventable by merely avoiding the consumption of Tobaccoproducts. He apprised that 90 per cent of oral cancer in India is caused due tochewing tobacco and sadly, India is called the oral cancer capital of theworld. Dr Kabra pointed out that every year, nearly 13 lakh lives are lost dueto tobacco. He stressed that nowadays, major population of youngsters areinvolved in this bad habit and suffer from tobacco related diseases causingpremature death. “It is disheartening to see young patients visiting OPD withtobacco-related cancers.” He apprised that one cigarette takes away 11 preciousminutes of an individual’s life and Tobacco consumption can cause otherdiseases as well such as Brain Stroke, Ulcer, Hear Attack, Paralysis etc.
During thesymposium Ms. Ashima Sarin shared a brief about the projects undertakento spread awareness for tobacco free society and said that about 33.9 percentpeople in Uttar Pradesh are consuming tobacco and it is alarming that more than1.51 lakh people die every years in UP due to tobacco and its products. Shementioned that in the State, everyday nearly 832 children start consumingtobacco and its product.
Mr. SanjaySeth, Trustee and Chief of Operations of Sambandh Health Foundation saidthat many states have enforced COTPA to provide a healthier environment fortheir citizens. He lauded the efforts of Police Administration inimplementation of COTPA to reduce tobacco consumption. He said that more than5500 children start using tobacco every day in country and only 3 percentpeople are able to quit it.
During theoccasion, Mr. Anil Kumar Singh, a cancer survivor shared his story onhow he started using tobacco at the age of 15 and was diagnosed with mouthcancer at the age of 32. He stressed that it was the toughest time for him andhis family who suffered along his ordeal. He mentioned that he lost his job wasa Production Manager in Gurgaon and even his son had to drop his education dueto financial crisis caused due to the treatment of cancer . He urged youngstersto not to get involved in Tobacco and destroy their life.
During thesymposium, deliberation were made to initiate of Strong network between AmityUniversity and Voice of Tobacco Victims, Fortis Foundation & SambandhFoundation to launch Anti Tobacco Advocacy Programme and Oral Hygiene Camps forgeneral population in Noida as well as in Amity University. It was alsodiscussed to initiate collaborative R&D and CSR Projects in the area ofAnti Tobacco Advocacy for reduction or stopping Consumption of TobaccoProducts.