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Creating awareness on ill-effects of tobacco

T. MADHAVAN
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Spreading the message: Doctors, students and patients participating in a lec-dem on Oral Cancer and its Prevention organised at Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, Maduravoyal.
Spreading the message: Doctors, students and patients participating in a lec-dem on Oral Cancer and its Prevention organised at Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, Maduravoyal.

In the next hour, 50 people will die because of tobacco. Tobacco is a risk factor for some 25 diseases, and while its effects on health are well-known, the scale of its impact on global disease may not be fully appreciated.

Tobacco as a risk factor is expected to make a greater claim on health than any single disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports the worldwide death toll from tobacco use is four million annually. This is far greater than the number of fatalities from all illegal drugs and alcohol combined. The death toll is expected to rise to 10 million per year by the 2020's or early 2030's, with seven million deaths occurring in developing countries. The WHO estimates that there are approximately 1.1 billion regular smokers in the world, which is one-third of the global population aged 15 years and older.

With an aim to make an impact among the youth and to create an awareness about the ill-effects of usage of tobacco in any form, series of awareness programmes were organised by the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Meenakshi Ammal Dental College, Maduravoyal, during November 1 and 7.

A large number of patients were screened at the free screening camp organised by Meenakshi Ammal Dental College and Hospital. During the week-long camps, patients and doctors were enlightened on the importance of early detection of cancer and the need for periodical screening. National Cancer Awareness Day programmes were organised by the head of the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, D. Koteeswaran.

Professor of Oral Medicine and Radiology and programme coordinator K. Saraswathy Gopal and Associate Professor B. Harsha Vardhan provided the statistical details of the camp. Vice principal of Meenakshi Ammal Dental College N. Ambalavanan presided over the function. Professor of Radiation Oncology, Srinivasan from Government Arignar Anna Memorial Cancer Research Institute and Hospital, Kancheepuram, delivered a lecture on ‘Causes of various cancers and their prevention and treatment'. Dr. C. Sumathi, Senior Lecturer, proposed a vote of thanks.

T. MADHAVAN

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