Protection of future generations from the harmful effects of Tobacco

Sujamol Jaimon, 5th year BBA LLB, School of Indian legal thought, MG University, Kerala

Introduction

“Tobacco is injurious to health” “Smoking causes cancer” every packet of cigarettes ,veed or any other product contained tobacco as the major ingredient can see this caution notice. How many tobacco consumers take this into account. Everyone are ignoring the seriousness and harmful effects of tobacco and the result is “Tobacco is a global epidemic among young people”.

 Tobacco is a plant originally indigenous to the Americas which is now grown across the world. Tobacco is the common name of several plants in the Nicotiana genus and Solanaceae familyand the general term for any product prepared from the cured leaves of the tobacco plant. It leaves contains high level of the addictive chemical nicotine and many cancer causing chemicals especially polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Studies shows that On average the life expectancy of a smoker is 10 year less than a non smoker. Cigarette contains more than 7000 chemicals, 70 of which are known to cause cancer. In every day more than 3200 children and teens under the age of 18 years smoke their first cigarette. The dangerous fact is that smoking and tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year worldwide and the current trend shows that this will increase to more than 8 million deaths annually by 2030.

Smoking causes life threatening diseases like cancer, heart disease, stroke diabetes, lung diseases including emphysema, bronchitis and thronic airway obstruction. Smokers typically inhale about 1mg of nicotine in a single cigarette.

For the protection of future generations from the harmful effects of tobacco we have to think about how we can prevent tobacco?

According to the report of National institute on Drugs Abuse, prevention can take the form of policy level measures such as increased taxation of tobacco products ; enforcement of stricter laws regulating who can purchase tobacco products; how and where they can be purchased; where and when they can be used and restrictions on advertising and mandatory health warnings on packages.  Over 100 studies shown that higher taxes on tobacco products produce significant reduction in usage of that products like cigarettes especially among youth and lower income individuals. Smoke free work place laws and restrictions on advertisements have also shown benefits.

For the protection of future generations from tobacco use, prevention should be take place at school or community level. Merely educating potential smokers about the harmful health risks has not proven effective. Successful evidence based interventions aim to reduce or delay initiation of smoking, illicit drugs use and otherwise improve outcomes for children and teens by reducing or mitigating risk factors and bolstering protective factors.

Risk factors for smoking include having family members or peers who smoke, being in a lower socioeconomic status, living in a neighborhood with high density of tobacco outlets , not participating in team sports, being exposed to smoking in movies and being sensation seeking.  Although older teens are more likely to smoke than younger teens, earlier a person starts smoking or using any addictive tobacco substance more likely they are develop an addiction. Males are also more likely to take up smoking in adolescence than females. Some evidence based interventions shown lasting effects on reducing smoking initiation. For instance, communities utilizing the intervention delivery system, communities that care for students aged between 10 and 14 shown sustained reduction in Male cigarette initiation upto 9 after the end of the intervention. The effects of smoking are common and dangerous but what most people don’t realize, secondhand and thirdhand smoking is just as bad. Secondhand smoke is not something to joke about. It’s just as bad if not worse than directly inhaling tobacco on a regular basis.

One more important fact is that the prohibition of smoking will decrease the revenue of government from the production and sale of cigarettes. In the case of legislation against tobacco production, the economic system of any country would undergo significant losses. The closure of factories that produces tobacco and cigarettes will lead to the growth of taxes to cover the losses. Consequently the government would have to legitimize the production of tobacco to improve the economic situation. The prohibition of tobacco would not prevent smoking regarding the existence of black markets and the economic collapse caused by substantial losses.  Thus, if the government bans smoking such an approach will lead to other problems but also fail to reduce the adverse effects of smoking.  A better planning to increase the awareness of people concerning the negative impacts of tobacco on health and life , which would result in conscious smoking cessation.

Certain places are making it illegal to smoke around other people.  In India we prohibits smoking in public places. Why our law allows smoking except for certain designated places. This would limit the amount of exposure non smoking individuals receive. If a person smokes , the whole building smoke whether if it is a house, place of work or an apartment building smoking affects everyone in the near vicinity.  If the law prohibits smoking in any place that would allow us to walk anywhere without encountering any disease filled smoke cloud.

Conclusion

About 23 percent of all adults are smokers. For protecting future generations from tobacco we need to set a good example. For that we need non smoking family members especially parents. We should establish a smoke free home because parents or elder family members are the first role models of children. Parents should prepare their kids from peer pressure, reason is that most of the young smokers starts smoking from peers group. We have to teach our children to think more than cigarettes and should maintain a dialogue between family members.  Comprehensive tobacco control programs including mass media campaigns, awareness programs and charging high prices on tobacco products can protect the future generations from tobacco use upto an extant. More over that every single person should decide themselves for a smoke free life and protect children from tobacco and its effects ie,life-threatening diseases.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at secondinnings.hr@gmail.com

In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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