MMHRC creates awareness on World No-Tobaco Day 2024

Business MInutes

Smoking cessation is a challenging task, with only about 20% of individuals succeeding in quitting smoking alone. Experts at Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre emphasize the importance of seeking professional support for successful cessation. Nearly 80% of participants in formal programs that involve counseling, medications, and support groups succeed in quitting smoking, while only about 20% attempt to overcome nicotine addiction on their own.

Nicotine addiction is considered one of the hardest addictions to overcome, even compared to addictions to ganja or cocaine. A multidisciplinary medical team can help smokers with counselling and nicotine replacement therapy. Counseling helps smokers understand that the 2.5-inch cigarette they smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, with about 50% of them being cancer-causing. The therapy focuses on gradually reducing nicotine intake, helping patients quit without experiencing significant withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Smoking cessation often requires professional support to be effective for most people. Today, nicotine chewing gums are available over-the-counter, but it involves following a treatment protocol and gaining psychological insights to help smokers cope with triggers and withdrawal symptoms. It is also important for smokers to be part of support groups.

Advances in medical science have increased the success rate of treatments of smoking-related illnesses when detected early. For example, cancer is curable when diagnosed early, and annual cancer screening is recommended for smokers.

Currently, there are over 1.3 billion smokers in the world, with around 12% of them, nearly 150 million, in India. Tobacco use is one of the biggest public health threats globally, with approximately 8 million people dying each year due to smoking-related illnesses. In India, smoking kills over one million people annually and is the fourth leading cause of cancer and heart diseases, accounting for over 50% of all deaths in the country.


BM Correspondent

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