An eminent doctor from Mumbai has made a passionate plea to Maharashtra health minister Dr Deepak Sawant to start tobacco de-addiction Centre’s in state-run hospitals. Incidentally, the demand from Dr Ramakant Deshpande, Oncologist and executive chairman of the Asian Cancer Institute came on the eve of World No Tobacco Day (May 31). Dr Sawant has principally agreed to the demand and asked to give detail proposal to the government.
Director of Asian Cancer Institute Dr Sanjay Sharma (Oncosurgeon) handed over the appeal letter to Dr Sawant at Mantralaya on Tuesday afternoon. “The Honorable state Health Minister Shri Deepak Sawant has accepted our demand for establishing tobacco de-addiction centres. Within two weeks, we have to share the plan of action with him” said Dr Sharma.
Dr Sawant said “the government is ready to join hands with pioneer private Institutes like Asian Cancer Institute for reducing tobacco consumption and creating awareness about tobacco deaddiction. Dr Deshpande said “In six months, the government will set up de-addiction centres within the region. We are thankful to the government for supporting us in helping people to say ‘NO to TOBACCO’,”
The Asian Cancer Institute is starting its own tobacco de-addiction centre, which will be a first-of-its-kind initiative in a private hospital.
“Tobacco consumption is cited as a primary risk factor for cancers. Tobacco-related cancers are ranked among the early preventable health risk,” according to Dr Deshpande.
In India, 1.2 lakh people die every year directly due to tobacco consumption. The number is expected to shoot up to 1.5 lakh in five years. Thirty percent of the estimated 16.5-lakh new cancer cases in 2020 will be directly related to tobacco and can be prevented. “While 90 percent of tobacco consumers are aware of its harmful effects, they do not know how to quit the habit. We need robust tobacco cessation programmes in our government hospitals to help them quit tobacco consumption,” said Dr Deshpande. Further he said “Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan have started tobacco cessation programmes to help their citizens get rid of the habit”.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India report says smoking kills over 1 million people in the country annually. The economic burden of tobacco consumption is around Rs 1,04,500 crore per annum. “The earlier a person quits tobacco, the greater are the health benefits. It is a fact that lung function increases by up to 30 percent within two weeks to three months after a person gives up smoking. According to the American Cancer Society, after one to nine months of a person kicking the butt, he/she is relieved of coughing, sneezing, congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath. In a year’s time after quitting smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease is halved. In five years, the risk of a stroke is reduced to that of a non-smoker,” said Dr Deshpande.
Dr Rohan Bartakke of Community Health Department, Dr Krishnakumar Dubey (Head Marketing) and Durgaprasad of Asian Cancer Institute were present as body of delegates along with Director Dr Sanjay Sharma while discussing the proposal with the Minister.