: Oncologists have cautioned smokers that ‘smoking is suicide’ on the eve of World No Tobacco Day on Friday.

Stating that it is high time for smokers to quit the habit, they warned that cigarette smoking is nothing but inviting cancer. As the city wakes up to the globally important day on May 31, there will be advice pouring in from the medical fraternity that tobacco damages virtually every vital part in the body including heart, lungs, kidney, throat, tongue, brain and blood vessels.

Launching no-tobacco campaign here on Thursday, Ramesh Ardhanari, Medical Director, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC), urged the people to realise that smoking affects not only the person’s health but also others in the family and the surrounding.

“Both alcohol and tobacco are bad for health. But, in the case of drinking, it spoils only that particular individual who consumes alcohol whereas smoking is harmful for the people around. Passive smoking is also dangerous,” he said.

Awareness needed

Dr.Ardhanari had stressed the important role of cancer specialists in creating awareness of the link between cigarette and cancer.

The findings of World Health Organisation on the ill-effects of tobacco were explained at the awareness meet.

“Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death globally and is responsible for killing one in 10 adults worldwide. It is related to 50 per cent of cancer cases, causes cardiac illness, stroke and debilitating lung diseases,” doctors explained.

K.S.Kirushnakumar, radiation oncologist, and Krishnakumar Rathinam, medical oncologist, made a presentation on how tobacco addiction is killing people in their productive age.

“Over 50 per cent of tobacco related deaths are occurring among people in the 35-60 age group. They are dying at a time when they have to take care of their family and children. This is a point to be borne in mind,” said Dr.Rathinam.

He appealed to people to keep away from tobacco products such as pan masala, gutka, snuff, betel leaf and cigarettes.

Dr.Kirushnakumar pointed out that incidence of tongue cancer is on the rise due to tobacco consumption and four out of 10 cancer cases are oral cancer.

“Chewing tobacco and snuff contain 28 different carcinogens. By taking a cigarette puff, you are inhaling 4,000 chemicals and 150 toxins including carbon monoxide,” he said.

Referring to the popular slogan ‘smoking thrills-but kills,’ Dr.Rathinam told youngsters that cigarette smoking may be a fascination today, but it leads to deathbed soon.

Vijaya Baskar, surgical oncologist and Ananda Selvakumar, radiation oncologist, too have expressed concern over people falling prey to tobacco. They spoke on the dangers of lung cancer and laryngeal cancer. All the oncologists have observed that several children under five years of age are getting infections due to ‘second hand smoke’ (passive smoking) at home.

According to a report, about 5,500 adolescents are joining the list of tobacco-users every day, and in India tobacco epidemic will kill more than 10 million people every year by 2030.

The theme for World No Tobacco Day 2013 is ‘ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship.’

S.Kumar, honorary secretary, Indian Medical Association, Madurai Meenakshi Branch, emphasised the need to create anti-tobacco awareness at a young age.

Special programme

Meanwhile, city-based Voice Trust is conducting a special programme at Bhima Jewellers on West Masi Street for customers and general public on Friday.

Two specialist doctors from Apollo Speciality Hospitals — pulmonologist M. Palaniappan and orthodontist J. Kannaperuman — will conduct special sessions to make people aware of the ills of smoking.


  • No-tobacco campaign launched

  • Passive smoking is also dangerous


  • More In: TAMIL NADU | NATIONAL