The Hazards of Smoking
Smoking and its Withdrawal symptoms
“Smoking is a bad habit.” This fact is recognized by all except the smokers themselves. Some of them accept that smoking is bad as a social habit and dangerous for health. Still, surprisingly, they are unable to give up this bad habit. This is mainly because of the withdrawal symptoms which include insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, decreased heartbeat, irritability, lack of concentration, increased appetite, etc.
The Supreme Court has already banned smoking in public places and in buses and trains. But smoking is still going on more or less in the form of bidis and cigarettes particularly when the passive smokers do not request the active smokers to stop this menace.
WHO figures and the Indian scene
According to a survey, there are about 18.4 crore tobacco users in India. Out of these, four crores are cigarette smokers, eight crores are’ bidi’ smokers, and the remaining about 6 crores are ‘gutka’ and ‘zarda’ users which contain tobacco. The survey states that about 60% of men and 3% of women in India are smokers. Moreover, 50% of men and 30% of women in India are addicted to chewing tobacco.
According to an Assistant Professor of a premier Homeopathic College, Ludhiana, passive smoking is extremely harmful. According to him: “Children of parents who smoke have low birth weight, are more likely to be mentally retarded, have more respiratory infections, less efficient pulmonary functioning and higher incidence of chronic ear infection than the children of non-smokers.”
Therefore, the best thing for all of us is to take a pledge not to smoke and to persuade others to do likewise and take a similar pledge.
Students can play an active role in eradicating the menace of smoking. Many of the illiterate elders are not acquainted with the hazards of smoking. Students and other young people can bring such hazards to their notice. They can persuade them to give up smoking. In case of any difficulty, they can persuade them to go or themselves take them to the deaddiction and rehabilitation centres.
Students should observe “No Tobacco Day” in their institutions every year. Debates, seminars, and declamation contests in this connection should be held in all institutions. At such functions, adults should also be invited.
Students should fan out in rural and slum areas, particularly during the summer vacation, and spread the message of “No smoking.” These two words should be displayed prominently in all public places. Those who smoke should be politely requested to stop this menace. Those who still persist in this harmful practice should be dealt with severely according to the law.
India must be very cautious in this regard. The dangerous effects of smoking should be brought to the notice of one and all through the press, the T.V., the cinema, the radio, and other media available. Pamphlets and handbills and other literature in this respect should be widely published and distributed. Tobacco products should be banned or highly taxed. NO smoker, particularly no chain smoker should be appointed to any post.