In India, the state and central government are trying hard to give free healthcare under various well-intentioned schemes. I admire the thought which goes behind giving access to good quality healthcare to all . But the intrinsic problem of utopic thinking is simple.It does not exist.
Imagine this scenario.
Daily wage earner. Spends most of his income on chewable tobacco products and alcohol. Comes to the hospital with an extensive mouth ulcer. Diagnosis is a squamous cell carcinoma.He undergoes treatment aimed to help him. The disease is extensive and he undergoes surgery and radiotherapy. All this is free at all Government hospital. But some treatment may not be available in a Government set up. The patient meanwhile continues spending his money on his tobacco and other addictions.
Nothing will work.
Do we blame the medicines, fate, system or the individual?
I have seen tracheostomized patients inhale tobacco smoke through their tracheostomy tubes. If we want a healthy population, then freedom to live and die with dignity is important. What is equally important is making a choice to live healthily and take responsibility for own activities. The government can help. Society can support. Living healthy is your choice. Say no to tobacco today. None of the forms of tobacco is compatible with a healthy life.
Effect of Tobacco on the ENT and Head-neck region:
- Dries up nasal mucosa.
- Aggravates allergic symptoms.
- Can predispose to Otitis media with effusion.(Direct association with alteration of mucosa)
- Can have decreased smell sensation.
- Oral mucositis, glossitis.
- Recurrent pharyngitis, chronic pharyngitis.
- Submucosal fibrosis in case of chewable tobacco.
- High risk for head neck malignancy.
- The poor response following Radiotherapy in smokers and those who continue to smoke.
- Passive smoking is injurious to health.
Tobacco can kill. The younger the age of addiction the stronger is the effect on cells. The longer the duration of tobacco, worse is the result. Children of smokers are more likely to take up smoking and other substance abuse.But you still have time.
The shocking problem is that even with graphic images of cancer on tobacco packs worldwide,people continue to buy and sell tobacco. While life and death are in God’s hand, there really is no harm in trying to live a little better.
- If they are selling: Its wrong and you can blame them.
- If you are buying its wrong and you can blame yourself.
If your newborn child is inhaling cigarette smoke, whose fault is it? If you decide to spend your extra earnings on tobacco and the blame your luck for ill health, who are you fooling? When will you take responsibility for your own actions?
What the Government can do to de-addict the smoker:
- Remove subsidies and tax benefits if you smoke or use tobacco in any form.
- Stricter rules for smoking in public places.
- Make Corporates take part in anti-tobacco drives in schools and colleges.
- Have special benefits for people who don’t use tobacco.
- The higher tax on tobacco products reach Government and they, in turn, spend it on Free healthcare to battle the diseases caused by it, can you take a call on this? Will India stop selling poison with the label of free will?The money is helping no one.The product is harming everyone.Take a stand .There really are no positives when it comes to tobacco.
Cancer is a serious health hazard. It’s time we took a harder look at all preventive measures. India is a growing country with a young population. But we need this human resource to be healthy for their own good and for the benefit of the country. Are you hearing Universe?
Writing this as a part of the #BlogtoPM initiative.