'Everyday 55,000 children below 15 years of age take to smoking’
In yet another attempt aimed at fighting against tobacco use, Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Oncology and Research (SRIOR) has developed an android application to reach out to the youth.
D. Lakshminarayanaswamy, Trustee, SNR and Sons Trust, released the app— Smoking Cessation — in the presence of P. Guhan, Chief Medical Oncologist, SRIOR, and K. Karthikesh, a doctor.
P. Guhan, Chief Medical Oncologist, SRIOR, said that the Institute chose an android application this year because youth, especially the vulnerable group, had cigarette on one hand and a smart phone on the other. The app will link the youth and android to form a triad.
The app extensively covered aspects related to the impact of tobacco use/smoking, the consequences, tips to quit smoking, details and information on de-addiction centres across India, with the centres displayed in Google Maps, recent and day-to-day update on tobacco cessation, etc.
It also had an ‘addiction quiz’ to enable users identify and understand their level of dependency on nicotine. It had an interactive application part linked to social media sites to provide weekly updates.
Mr. Lakshminarayanaswamy, after unveiling the app, spoke on the dangers of tobacco addiction and its ill effects. Statistics showed that everyday 55,000 children below 15 years of age took to smoking and that majority of those where from South Asia or developing countries.
The application can be downloaded free of cost from Google Play. It will be available on other mobile operating system platforms at a later date.
Earlier in the day at an anti-tobacco campaign, ‘Stay away from the killer tobacco’, was the message. The Hindu and the Oncology Department of Sri Ramakrishna Hospital had organised the function at the Lakshmi Mills Junction.
Superintendent of Police M. Sudhakar kick-started the campaign at the Lakshmi Mills Junction in the presence of P. Guhan, Chief Medical Oncologist, Sri Ramakrishna Hospital.
Flyers and handouts with messages on ill effects of tobacco were distributed to the public.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sudhakar said that use of tobacco increased the chances of cancer, tumour and other diseases. The Coimbatore Rural Police would initiate action to ensure that smoking in public places was curbed, he said. Some from the public, to whom the flyers and handouts were given, promised to quit smoking.
Dr. Guhan said youth from 15 to 19 years of age were more vulnerable to tobacco addiction.
Radio City was the radio partner for the campaign.