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The Harsh Reality of Tobacco: A Deadly Addiction

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Quitting tobacco is one of the most challenging, most rewarding and most profound acts of self-care and self-respect you can undertake

      Dr.Ashaq Hussain

Tobacco usage dates back to centuries, with its origins rooted in Native American cultures. Traditionally Tobacco has been used in numerous cultural and ceremonial practices worldwide, often symbolizing unity, spirituality, or connection with the divine and as such made a way to rituals, prayers, and offerings in many indigenous cultures. Socially, sharing tobacco has been a social and communal activity, promoting interaction and bonding among individuals. It has been used as a symbol of hospitality and friendship in various cultures, fostering connections within communities.

In modern era Tobacco has been a significant crop for many countries, serving as a valuable commodity in international trade. It has provided economic opportunities for farmers, labourers, and the tobacco industry, contributing to economic growth and development. The production and sale of tobacco products have generated substantial tax revenue for governments worldwide, contributing to public funds and funding various public services and infrastructure projects.

Now a days tobacco consumption has been a major cause of concern for public health worldwide. With its addictive nature and detrimental effects, tobacco poses a significant threat to individuals, families, and communities. Smoking tobacco, whether through cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, exposes individuals to a range of toxic substances. The most notorious among them is nicotine, an addictive compound that alters brain chemistry and keeps users hooked. In addition, tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals, including carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene, leading to a heightened risk of developing various diseases. The most prominent health risks associated with tobacco use include lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, stroke, and various forms of cancer affecting the mouth, throat, bladder, and pancreas. Non-smokers are also at risk through exposure to secondhand smoke, which has been linked to respiratory issues, cardiovascular diseases, and even an increased risk of cancer. Societal Impact extends beyond individual health; it also places a significant burden on societies as a whole.

While acknowledging and recognizing the historical, cultural and economic importance that tobacco has held in societies throughout the world, understanding its complex role for a more nuanced significance is much needed. As we strive to address the health risks associated with tobacco, it is crucial to approach the issue with sensitivity, recognizing the multifaceted nature of tobacco’s impact on human civilization. On this significant occasion of No Tobacco Day, let today we come together to raise awareness about the detrimental effects of tobacco and to encourage a tobacco-free lifestyle. No doubt quitting any addiction is a challenging journey and to add more to this Nicotine, found in tobacco products, is highly addictive, making it difficult to break free from its grip. However, I firmly believe that every journey begins with a single step, and by choosing to read this message, you have already taken a step in the right direction..

Thus, quitting tobacco is one of the most profound acts of self-care and self-respect you can undertake. It is an investment in your health, longevity, and overall quality of life. By choosing to quit, you are giving yourself the gift of a healthier future, free from the shackles of addiction. I understand that the path to quitting may seem daunting, but remember that you are not alone.

There are numerous resources available to support you on this journey. Seek guidance from healthcare professionals, join support groups, or explore cessation programs that can provide the necessary tools and strategies to overcome nicotine addiction. The road may have bumps along the way, but perseverance and determination will see you through. Think about the positive changes that a tobacco-free life can bring. Imagine breathing in fresh air without a lingering cloud of smoke, feeling more energetic, and enjoying the taste of food. Picture yourself as a role model for your loved ones, inspiring them with your courage and determination.

To conclude, let me remind you all that Tobacco is a lethal addiction with far-reaching consequences for individuals, communities, and societies at large. Its adverse health effects, economic burden, and influence on vulnerable populations necessitate robust tobacco control measures. I encourage you (tobacco users) to reflect on the reasons why you want to quit tobacco. Write them down and keep them close as a reminder of your commitment. Remember that it’s never too late to start this journey. Each day is an opportunity for a fresh start, a chance to reclaim your health and well-being. I believe in your strength and resilience.

You have the power to break free from tobacco’s grip and build a brighter future for yourself and those around you. Let this day be the catalyst for positive change in your life and to build a society free from the burden of tobacco-related illnesses. Your decision to quit will contribute to this global effort and have a positive impact on your community. Today, let us embrace the opportunity for change. Let us prioritize our health, well-being, and the well-being of those we care about.

Dr.Ashaq Hussain is Associate Professor at Govt. Degree College Chatroo and can be reached at [email protected]

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