According to the most recent WHO study, almost 1.3 million deaths worldwide may be attributed to passive smoking each year.
According to a recent estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use has decreased internationally, with 300 million fewer smokers today. The global smoking rate has decreased from 22.8% in 2007 to 17.2% in 2021. This decline occurred 15 years after the United Nations health agency created various methods to curb tobacco use throughout the globe.
Safeguards against tobacco
As per WHO, Tobacco use and prevention strategies will need to be monitored, as will the provision of protection from secondhand smoke, assistance in kicking the habit, health warnings, advertising restrictions, and price hikes. Approximately 71 percent of the world’s population, or 5.6 billion people, are presently safeguarded by one of such initiatives.
According to Euronews, Dr. Ruediger Krech, WHO’s head of health promotion, said that “still 2.3 billion people in 44 countries remain unprotected by any evidence-based demand reduction tobacco control measures,” putting them at risk from the health and economic impact of tobacco use.
And despite widespread calls for such prohibitions, healthcare providers in 53 nations are still allowed to smoke. That’s not going to fly; it’s just not acceptable.
How hazardous is exposure to passive smoking?
People who are in the same room as a smoker are said to be exposed to second-hand smoke.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that every year, some 1.3 million people—including babies and children—die as a result of exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke.
About 400,000 deaths are attributed to ischemic heart disease after being exposed to secondhand smoke, over 250,000 deaths are attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, over 150,000 deaths are attributed to stroke and lower respiratory disease, over 100,000 deaths are attributed to Type 2 diabetes and thousands of deaths are attributed to lung and breast cancers.
Secondhand smoking increases the risk of serious asthma attacks, respiratory tract infections, ear infections, and SIDS in children, according to research by the World Health Organization.
Young children are more at risk since their lungs and bodies are still growing and they breathe more quickly than adults. Children of smokers have more respiratory symptoms and stunted lung development, according to the study.
Almost 267 million Indians are regular smokers.
Among those aged 15 and above, 28.6% are regular smokers (42.4% of males and 14.2% of women).1
o Men use smokeless tobacco at a rate of 29.6%, while just 12.8% of women use it.
o 19.0% of males and 2.0% of women over 18 smoke cigarettes regularly.
o 7.7% of all adults are smokers, and the vast majority of them use bidis.
Boys use tobacco at a higher rate (9.6%) than females (7.4%), whereas 4.1% of 13- to 15-year-olds smoke cigarettes, and 4.1% use smokeless tobacco. India spent INR 1773.4 billion (about USD $27.5 billion) on healthcare related to tobacco use in 2017-2018.8
o Indirect expenses (from lost production due to sickness and death) accounted for 78% of the overall cost (INR 1386.3 billion, or US$21.5 billion), while direct healthcare expenditures accounted for 22% (INR 387.1 billion, or US$6 billion).
Status of India
On February 27, 2005, India joined the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a Party.
Many businesses and public spaces have gone smoke-free, including hospitals, schools, government buildings, and public transportation. However, airports, hotels with 30 or more rooms, and restaurants with 30 or more seats are all allowed by law to install designated smoking zones. Open-air theaters, stadiums, train stations, and bus stops/stands are all smoke-free zones. It’s possible for local governments to pass tougher anti-smoking measures than the federal government.
There are rules against promoting or accepting sponsorship from cigarette companies.
Health warning labels on tobacco packaging are both visual and textual, covering 85% of the front and rear panels parallel to the top edge of the package, and are changed every 12 months. It is illegal to use deceptive packaging or labeling that could mislead the consumer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests a 70% excise tax on tobacco products as a solution to the problem of rising cigarette costs.