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Tobacco Battle in the Streets

Friday, November 4th, 2011

best quality bond cigarettes In a joint effort, some doctors from USA and Doctors for You, India, a Mumbai-based NGO, will go on a month-long autorickshaw rally across six states to create awareness about the dangerous effects of tobacco. The participants will cover more than 100 towns and cities in these states.

India is ranked first in smokeless consumption of tobacco globally. Dr Ravikant Singh from Doctors for You said: “About 275 million Indians are in the habit of consuming tobacco in several forms. The rally for health intends to make people aware of the consequences of smoking and consuming tobacco. People are not unaware. They just ignore.”

Doctors for You, a recipient of the British Journal Award,along with the doctors from USA will go around the states

in the next 25 days. The doctors will talk about the harmful effects of tobacco, hold one-on-one discussions, group discussions, technical paper presentations, screening of specialised movies, enact plays and skits. “We will also have competitions like poster-making and distribute pamphlets and posters,” added Dr Ravikant.

According to recent the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, about 275 million people in India are addicted to tobacco, and one-third of them use it in smokeless form. India is the greatest producer of areca nut, producing about 3,30,000 million tons a year (nearly half of global areca nut production), and most of them are consumed within the country.

The gutka industry in India has grown from small beginnings forty years ago to a multi-billion rupee industry with nearly 375 brands, of which, nearly 100 are located in Mumbai. It is estimated that gutka and paan masala worth around Rs10,000 crore is sold in the country annually. Due to its low cost, easy availability, attractive packaging, aggressive marketing, innocent adolescents and youths are becoming addicted to them. In India, over 5 million children under 15 are addicted to gutka.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, head and neck cancer surgeon from Tata hospital who has also been actively spearheading a campaign against tobacco products, said, “Unfortunately, most cancer patients in India come to us when they are in their last stages. Many of them are young. This happens because most of the people start chewing and consuming tobacco products while in school.” Dr Chaturvedi is also part of the rally.

Teenager’s Tobacco Battle

Monday, October 24th, 2011

buy vogue cigarettesThere are area youth who take a different approach in the fight against teens’ smoking: at the front lines. Or rather, some youth stand in line and see what clerks will sell.

Local police solicit the help of teens to do periodic compliance checks on establishments with tobacco and liquor licenses, seeing if they will sell illegally to minors.

Eve, whose name was changed to provide anonymity, has been on undercover “stings” before with local and state officers. She is 15 years old.

During a compliance check, Eve goes into a bar or gas station and asks for a pack of discount Vogue cigarettes. Sometimes she gets nervous. She worries she will mess up the brand name of the pack. Clearly, she does something right. Once, nine establishments sold her cigarettes in one night.

Dave Wesner, Danville’s corporation counsel, said last year 12 citations were issued at establishments for violating the ordinance prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to anyone younger than 18. Wesner said typically the employee who sold tobacco to a minor is the one who is fined. However, continual violations at a certain site may result in a suspended or revoked license for the business.

Eve said she thinks it’s wrong when establishments sell to minors.

“What they’re doing is telling teenagers it’s OK, when really it’s not,” Eve said. She said it’s not good for places to break the law, especially when smoking puts one on a path that may lead to death.

Eve’s mom knows parents play a big role.

“I was raised in a family of smokers. Both my parents were heavy smokers,” her mom said. “I knew from an early age, it was a habit I didn’t want to develop.”

While she thinks it is good for schools to educate teens about risky behaviors, she doesn’t think it’s their responsibility.

“I absolutely think it’s the parents’ responsibility to teach their kids right from wrong.”

Her daughter said she will never smoke.

“I want to try to be like my mom,” Eve said, “because she never tried drugs when she was younger.”

Eve is comfortable talking to a parent and to her peers.

As they are being interviewed, Eve and her mom talk to each other about the situations Eve has encountered. Her mom knows Eve has been tempted by peers. Eve explains that she knows what to do when she’s pressured to start an unhealthy habit.

“I’ll just be like, ‘You know I don’t do that type of stuff,’” Eve said. “Later, they don’t even ask.”

“You’re that direct?” Eve’s mom asks her.

“Mm hm. Yeah, because if you’re not, they’re just gonna keep asking you,” Eve said.

“That’s true,” her mother replied.