MAMC Journal of Medical Sciences

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 154--155

Exploring the Issue of Tobacco Epidemic and Impairment of Lung Health


Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2,  
1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Professor Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu - 603108
India




How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Exploring the Issue of Tobacco Epidemic and Impairment of Lung Health.MAMC J Med Sci 2019;5:154-155


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Exploring the Issue of Tobacco Epidemic and Impairment of Lung Health. MAMC J Med Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 May 28 ];5:154-155
Available from: http://www.mamcjms.in/text.asp?2019/5/3/154/273290


Full Text



Dear Editor,

Tobacco epidemic has been acknowledged as a major global public health concern, accounting for morbidity and mortality among millions of people.[1] As a matter of fact, in excess of eight million deaths are attributed to the consumption of it, of which 15% result due to second-hand smoke.[1] Another striking figure is that four-fifth of global smokers are from low- and middle-income nations, where the caseload of tobacco-associated illness and deaths is highest.[1] From the social perspective, owing to the addictive (difficult to quit) and expensive nature, it has been linked to poverty and reduced spending on the household expenditure.[2]

On a similar note, the financial cost linked with treatment of tobacco-attributed complications is immense.[2] It has been envisaged on various forums that the presence of a healthy lung is crucial for leading a healthy life.[3] Tobacco is a key predisposing factor involved in the impairment of the lung health, with four out of ten tobacco-linked deaths resulting because of the damage caused to the lung in the form of diseases like malignancy, chronic respiratory diseases and tuberculosis.[1],[3] Further, most of the children who are exposed to tobacco smoke eventually develop chronic respiratory diseases in the course of their lifetime.[3]

In-fact, in order to attain the Sustainable Development Goals, we have to reduce the premature deaths attributed to non-communicable diseases (for which tobacco is a key predisposing factor).[1] Acknowledging the public health importance of the problem, it is high time to prioritize the issue and implement targeted region-specific interventions.[2],[3],[4] The most important thing will be to convince youth to not initiate smoking and this will be the best mode of intervention for the prevention of all subsequent morbidities and mortality.[1] Also, it is of utmost importance that to bring about any significant change in the existing pattern, we will essentially require a multi-sectoral response, involving all the stakeholders.[3] However, there are no doubts that the team of health care professionals will play a crucial role in rendering help to all tobacco users to quit the substance or its products.[3]

Further, the surveillance activities have to be strengthened extensively to get an insight into the magnitude of the problem and formulation of evidence-based strategies based on the nature of the epidemic.[5] The current situation pertaining to surveillance activities is quite dismal as less than 40% of the global population is covered by the national surveys at least once in a span of five years.[3] In addition, an extensive research is the need of the hour in the field of second-hand smoke to improve our understanding about the various chemicals which can play a big part in the development of the cancer. Moreover, all the provisions emphasized by the World Health Organization’s Framework have to be strengthened.[4],[5]

In conclusion, the tobacco epidemic is a major public health priority and at present we are definitely off-track to meet the set targets. It is high time to take steps to improve the existing scenario and thus improve the lung conditions.

Acknowledgements

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript and agreed for all aspects of the work. PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1World Health Organization. Tobacco − Key facts. 2019. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco. [Accessed September 9, 2018].
2Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Ensuring tobacco control to strengthen the economy of a nation and improve the health standards of the population. Int J Prev Med 2017;8:94.
3World Health Organization. WHO highlights huge scale of tobacco-related lung disease deaths. 2019. https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/29-05-2019-who-highlights-huge-scale-of-tobacco-related-lung-disease-deaths. [Accessed September 9, 2019].
4Miranda-Filho A, Piñeros M, Bray F. The descriptive epidemiology of lung cancer and tobacco control: a global overview2018. Salud Publica Mex 2019;61:219-29.
5Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Sustaining the fight against tobacco industries to attain permanent benefits. Prim Health Care 2018;8:e123.