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Freedom From Slavery of Tobacco, Pan Masala & E – Cigarette : Dr S. K. Arora


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India celebrates 74th Independence Day on 15th August 2020 as mark of freedom from British rule. Now it’s right time that we should aim for freedom from the tobacco to which globally very large number of people have become slaves and this product is not only killing human but also the animals and the whole environment.

Smoking and chewing tobacco / PanMasala is a form of slavery. In odd circumstances for the survival to save self or children, people work like slaves to make tobacco products especially the bidis. The products made by so called slaves ultimately make the users also slaves of these products and people become addicted to a stage where they fail to stop using tobacco even when they are strongly motivated to stop.

The possible hurdles anticipated by users are the unpleasantness of withdrawal, fear of weight gain, the potential futility of trying and eventual relapses and lack of information about tobacco cessation centres.

Tobacco by damaging multiple organs not only reduces local defenses of lungs but  reduces general Immunity making people more prone to Corona infection by many folds. Use of tobacco by fingers, sharing bidi / Cigarette/ Hookah and spitting spread Corona and other infection from one person to another very easily.

Even the Pan Masala which doesn’t contain Tobacco or nicotine does contain Supari (Areca nut) which is now proved to be carcinogenic & genotoxic and affects oral cavity, kidney, liver and reproductive organs. E- cigarette damages lungs, heart, adolescent brain and developing fetus apart from its carcinogenic potential.

Globally 10 people die every minute from tobaccos and 2 out of 10 are from India only. Second hand smoking is adding the morbidity and mortality further. 30% adult in India are exposed to second-hand smoking in indoor work places. 22% teenagers (13-15 yrs age) are exposed to second-hand smoking at home.

Read also: Fact Check About Ban On Smokeless Tobacco Products In India

Tobacco addiction is probably the most common and problematic form of addiction worldwide. Its users (both  smokers & smokeless tobacco) lose control over their motivation and fail to control their desire to use tobacco. Even today 26.7 crore people use tobacco in India.

Even though Govt is trying to provide best possible services but no infrastructure of Govt or NGO can tackle this huge load so community participation is required to assist them to Quit these habits.

Tobacco users can visit nearest Govt health centre, De-addiction centre, Tobacco cessation Centre. They can join Govt.  M- Cessation Prog by giving a miss call from their mobile at 011 – 22901701 or Govt National toll free Quitline number 1800-11-2356 to get assistance to quit these habits. One may adopt one tobacco / Pan masala user from their surroundings and help him/her to quit by joining the link   http://chn.ge/2lUhRua

It is never too late. Take a firm decision today itself and start your efforts to stop these habits. Remember you will start getting positive effects on your multiple organs from Day one even if you have been using these products for years together.

We as a society need to provide them a helping hand so that they win over these habits and become free from the slavery of tobacco, pan masala and e cigarette. Freedom from tobacco will not only make one community or country but whole Planet as safe & healthy place to live.

Dr S K Arora (@aroradrsk7) , Chest Physician, is working as Additional Director Health with Govt of Delhi.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheHealth. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.



  1. Dr KK Arora August 18, 2020

    We could have got freedom from tobacco n tobacco products much earlier but for two major factors. 1. Lack of education, 2. Lobbying by tobacco industry in connivance.
    I don’t want to go in details of either because it will take lot of time and there are multiple inter twining issues.

  2. Dr S K Arora August 20, 2020

    Thanks Sir for your comments. You are right that there are many issues. But we can do our part and at least Education and awareness activities. Just for your information Delhi recorded fall in Tobacco prevalence from 2010 to 2017 period as reduced overall prevalence by 27%, reduction in smokers by 35% and reduced Gutkha users by 63%. All this happened with persistent efforts. So let’s continue what we can and our combined efforts will one day create freedom from these killer products. Regards, Dr S K Arora


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