Link Between Tobacco Use, Food Security, and Nutrition
World No Tobacco Day is observed every year on May 31 across the world. This day aims to raise awareness about the harmful effects of its use and the importance of quitting it. This year, the theme for World No Tobacco Day 2023 is “We Need Food No Tobacco”, emphasizing the relationship between tobacco use, food security, and nutrition.
The use is the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the use kills more than 8 million people every year, with 1.2 million of these deaths being non-smokers who are exposed to second-hand smoke. In addition to causing cancer, the use is also responsible for other serious health problems like heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and many more.
NO TOBACCO, ONLY FOOD SECURITY
The theme highlights the link between tobacco use and food security. Food security refers to the ability of individuals to have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs for an active and healthy lifestyle. The use not only affects the well-being of individuals but also has a significant impact on food security.
Dr Sulaiman Ladhani, Consultant pulmonologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central, further shed light on this year’s theme for World No Tobacco Day 2023.
Tobacco farming requires a large amount of land, water, and other resources, which could be used for growing food. The farmers and their families are also frequently exposed to harmful chemicals used in the cultivation and processing of tobacco, which can affect their health and productivity. The use by farmers can also lead to decreased productivity and poor health, reducing their ability to grow food and maintain food security.
Moreover, tobacco use also affects the nutritional status of individuals who use tobacco products. Nicotine, the addictive component in tobacco, suppresses appetite and reduces the absorption of nutrients from food. This can lead to malnutrition, particularly in vulnerable populations such as children and pregnant women.
The use among young people is a major concern as it can lead to several health problems. It includes respiratory diseases, heart disease, cancer, and stroke. It can also impact their mental health and social well-being. The younger a person starts smoking, the more likely they are to become addicted and continue smoking into adulthood.
World No Tobacco Day 2023 aims to educate young people about the dangers of its use, promote healthy lifestyles, and encourage them to make informed decisions about their health. It also focuses on the involvement of youth in its control efforts and encourages them to raise their voices against the industry.
There are several measures that can be taken to promote tobacco-free youth, including:
– Implementing strong control policies, including higher taxes on products, bans on advertising, and smoke-free public places.
– Providing education and awareness about the harmful effects of its use, including through school-based programs and campaigns.
– Encouraging parents, educators, and community leaders to be role models and promote a tobacco-free environment.
– Encouraging young people to participate in tobacco control advocacy and use their voices to raise awareness about its dangers.
The World Day 2023 is an opportunity for everyone to come together and take action to protect the health of young people. It is a reminder that the use continues to be a global health concern. It requires collective efforts to address it.
Wockhardt Hospitals is a chain of tertiary care super-specialty hospitals with facilities in, Nagpur, Rajkot, Wardha, South Mumbai & North Mumbai. All Wockhardt Hospitals have state-of-the-art infrastructure and globally benchmarked processes to enable Patient Care & Safety. Wockhardt Hospitals Ltd. is one of the few professionally managed corporate hospital groups in the country. It prioritises patient safety and quality of care at the core of its strategy. The overall 1500 bedded hospitals & over 1000 Standard Operating Procedures or Protocols for both clinical and non-clinical processes in place. The guiding philosophy is to serve and enrich the Quality of Life of patients.