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World Tobacco Day: Doctors remind: Smoking causes cancer, kills

By Hirra Azmat

Srinagar:As World Tobacco Day was observed on Thursday, doctors believe that smoking not only affects the lungs but also impacts the entire cardiovascular system.
For World No Tobacco Day 2018, WHO has joined with the World Heart Federation to highlight the link between tobacco and cardiovascular diseases (CVD), the world’s leading causes of death, responsible for 44% of all NCD deaths, or 17.9 million deaths annually.
Doctors in Kashmir believe that tobacco consumed in any form is injurious to health.
They said it can result in cardiovascular diseases including stroke, which is world’s leading cause of death.
Dr Syed Maqbool, a Cardiologist at SMHS hospital, said that smoking can damage the inner lining of blood vessels resulting in the fat accumulation and narrowing them further.
“This can lead to blood clots and eventually result in stroke or peripheral heart diseases,” he said.
Dr Maqbool said the presence of the nicotine in the chewed tobacco and cigarettes can increases the heart rate and blood pressure.
“Nicotine causes the blood vessels to thicken, which hampers the blood circulation, thus increasing the risk of high blood pressure or hypertension,” he said.
Another cardiologist, Dr Manzoor said tobacco consumption in any form has an “impact on all the body parts”.
“Smoking poses multiple hazards. Apart from causing direct damage to heart, it impacts the metabolism and activity levels. It also increases the risk of head and neck, lung, oesophageal, pancreatic, and urologic cancers,” he said.
According to Global Tobacco Atlas data, despite lowering tobacco use in recent years, India is home to an estimated 625,000 child smokers aged 10–14 years,
The research shows, every year, more than 932,600 Indian lives are lost to tobacco-related diseases which in a week claim 17,887 lives, according to the tobacco atlas prepared by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and US-based Vital Strategies.
Kashmir is no exception to this trend.
About 26.6% population of Jammu & Kashmir is using tobacco products, as a result the state has emerged lung cancer capital of India, the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS).