Smoking is a growing evil. It opens the gate way to hell, of physical ruin, and speedy death. Tobacco consumption can cause cancer of mouth, throat and lung. Roughly fifty percent of all cancer cases in India are related to tobacco consumption. Eighty per cent of heart attack patients less than 40 years of age are smokers.
It is unfortunate that a habit so injurious to health enjoys so much acceptance in society. Of all the common addictions, smoking is possibly the most damaging on a national scale. The glorification of such a habit ought to condemned and stopped. But the big industrial houses have been encouraging this habit by coining catchy slogans. They aim at catching their patrons young. They misguide the youth into believing that smoking is a macho thing, it increases stamina, it adds to your personality and it is fully satisfying. Smoking in the seventies had become a status symbol. It was an ‘in-thing’ among the teenagers. Even the girls started smoking as a mark of their liberation.
Thanks to our annual budget proposals which have made cigarettes costlier. Thanks to anti-smoking campaign also which has weaned away many marginal smokers from this evil. Even bidis are no more a worker’s luxury. The price of a bundle of bidis doubled suddenly as a result of new tendu leaf policy in Madhya Pradesh. Travelling in a public transport in now much less annoying than it was five years ago. The reason is that people smoke much less.
Smoking is being banned in public places and in government offices in America as well. There is growing awareness of the hazards of smoking all over the world. People are willing to cut down on their intake of alcohol and nicotine. Many need simple persuasion and check. They want to live long and live healthily. Nobody in his right senses would opt for cancer and heart attack. But some of them are a slave to their habit. They need medical help to give up this habit.
The most shocking thing in our country is that the tobacco companies have launched a campaign to enlist women smokers. Women constitute half the population. Thousands of them are single and career women in cities. They are liberated, and they have money too to spend. They drink in public and smoke in private. For them a ‘Ms special Filters’ has been launched. They say that it is feminine smoke, a lady’s privilege. This is a serious crime and must be checked. In fact, women smokers run an even greater health risk than men. Bidis are more harmful than cigarettes, and uncured tobacco the deadliest.