Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day (May 31) collaborated with National School of Journalism (NSoJ) and other student community to create awareness regarding passive smoking. The initiative aimed at educating citizens on ill effects of Second Hand Smoking (SHS) where the students performed street plays to connect with audience and sharing the knowledge. As a part of the initiative, students also moved around the city and distributed car fresheners that reminded people not to smoke in their cars and asked them to pledge as well.
According to Indian Journal of Public Health, ‘Exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) causes an estimated 5% of the global disease burden, slightly higher than the burden from direct use of tobacco. There is the urgent need to address this ignored public health issue by educating audience on impact of SHS on those exposed. The burden of morbidity from SHS exposure is higher in low-income countries in Southeast Asia region compared to the rest of the world. SHS exposure affects those most vulnerable, especially women and children.
In line with this Dr KS Satish, Pulmonologist, Fortis Hospitals, Bangalore said, “Globally, passive smoking, tobacco smoke present in environment, or secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure cause nearly 603,000 early deaths of non-smokers. The associated ailments include heart disease, lung cancer, severe asthma attacks, sudden infant death syndrome and many others similar conditions. Adults and children particularly with pre-existing conditions such as asthma and other chronic illness are more vulnerable to harmful effects of second and third hand smoking. By smoking, it’s not only the health of the smoker that is being affected, but the environment also is becoming unhealthy for other living beings. At Fortis Hospitals, we continuously try to provide health education to people. This is yet another step where we believe we can reach out to public and alert them on impact exposure to passive smoking.”
Speaking about need to focus on #SmokeFreeCar, Dr Satish added, “When someone smokes in the small enclosed space of a car, people are exposed to toxic air that is many times higher than what the EPA (Environment Protection Agency) considers hazardous air quality. Additionally, the gaseous and particulate components of tobacco smoke absorb into the upholstery and other surfaces inside a car, and then off-gas back into the air over the course of many days, exposing passengers to toxins long after anyone actually smoked in the car.”
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