State

EKH tops in tobacco related cancer cases in country  

World No Tobacco Day on May 31

Shillong, May 30: In the country, East Khasi Hills tops in the highest relative proportion of cancer cases associated with the use of tobacco with 70.4% and 46.5% of males and females respectively.

In a statement issued on Sunday on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, the National Health Mission (NHM), Meghalaya, said that the data signifies a very alarming sign of the prevalence of tobacco consumption and the menace through it if the users are not concerned enough to take a firm decision to just stop using tobacco.

In Meghalaya, 53.7% of men, 9.5% of women and 31.6% of all adults currently smoke tobacco. 11.6% of men, 29.1% of women and 20.3% of all adults currently consume smokeless tobacco. And, 59.8% of men, 34.2% of women and 47.0% of all adults either smoke tobacco and/ or use smokeless tobacco.

WHO has recently launched a year-long global campaign for World No Tobacco Day 2021with the theme “Commit to Quit”. This campaign aims to support people in their attempts to give up tobacco through various initiatives and digital solutions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led tobacco users wanting to quit. However, quitting tobacco is challenging, especially with the added social and economic stresses brought about by the pandemic.

There are immediate and long-term health benefits to quitting tobacco. After just 20 minutes of quitting smoking, the heart rate drops. Within 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal. Within 2–12 weeks, the circulation improves and lung function increases. Within 1–9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease. Within 5–15 years, the risk of getting a stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker. Within 10 years, the lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker. Within 15 years, the risk of heart disease is that of a non-smoker.

“Therefore, calling every individual user to reaffirm their commitment to quit the use of tobacco in any form, quitting can be challenging, especially for the ones who are captivated with the addiction to tobacco. However, if our commitment is strong, nothing can stop us because there are still a lot of reasons to quit.  This theme assures to all users who really want to commit themselves to quitting”, the statement said.

The NHM also released the toll free tobacco quit line: 1800-11-2356 and Apps on Google Play Store: 1. QuitNow! Quit Smoking and 2.Quit Genius – Best way to quit smoking and vaping.

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