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Tobacco addiction is a major cause of Tuberculosis!

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Half of all male deaths by tuberculosis in India a result of smoking

“I Am Stopping TB”this is the slogan that has been adopted worldwide for the World TB Day, 2009. “I Am Stopping TB” is the start of a two-year campaign internationally in support for control of TB. In keeping with the theme, a significant effort should be made to highlight the fact that a significant amount of TB deaths in India are caused by smoking – most starkly, including half the amount of males who succumb to TB in the country. Almost 200,000 people a year in India die from tuberculosis because they smoked, and half the smokers killed by TB are still only in their thirties, forties or early fifties when they die. 

On the occasion of World TB Day (24th March 2009), Dr.P.C.Gupta, Director, Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, said “Smokers expose themselves to a plethora of diseases and illnesses, and as research and studies show, Tuberculosis is one of the most life threatening diseases caused by tobacco.
We therefore urgently need to take extensive measures to increase social awareness about tobacco as a cardinal cause of tuberculosis and make an effort to educate society about the dangers of the disease.”

Studies have shown that half the male tuberculosis deaths in India are caused by smoking, and three quarters of the smokers become ill with tuberculosis (TB) through smoking. A major study led by the Epidemiological Research Center in Chennai, India and funded by the UK Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK have come up with detailed results on tobacco being a major cause of tuberculosis. The study found that in India male smokers are about four times as likely to become ill with TB as non-smokers, and consequently four times as likely to die from the disease. The study also showed the smokers had higher death rates from heart disease and from various types of cancer. In total, about a quarter of the smokers studied were killed at ages 25-69 by their habit, those killed at these ages losing, on average, 20 years of life.

Tuberculosis still causes about 1.6 million deaths a year worldwide, including more than a million in Asia, 400,000 in Africa and 100,000 in the Americas and Europe, and in some countries it is now becoming more common.

 

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