SMOKING KILLS AND CHEWING TOBACCO CAUSES CANCER (A STUDY OF THE PREVALENCE OF TOBACCO USE IN IMPHAL CITY)
Keywords:Smoking, tobacco, cancer, Imphal city, prevalence
Tobacco is an agricultural product and one of the most important commodities worldwide. Tobacco (Tambaku, Tamak or hidak mana in local name) is obtained from the leaves of two plant species of the genus Nicotiana, e.g., Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana rustica. It belongs to family Solanaceae. It is consumed in the form of smoking, chewing, snuffing or dipping (Mitra, 1997). Tobacco is a native plant of the America and there is evidence indicating the use of tobacco from pre-historic times (Chakaya, 2001). Tobacco plant was first introduced into Europe in 1556; from there it spread gradually to Africa, Asia and Australia. It is addictive as it contains an alkaloid called nicotine. In addition to nicotine, tobacco contains over 23 known carcinogens and more than 4000 chemicals (Jacobson, 1983). The danger of tobacco use is recognized and well documented for practically in all living creatures, including man, and should be avoided, yet this weed has been able to conceal it’s poison so that millions of men and women are made to believe that it is harmless (Kellog, 2002).
Tobacco has been recognized as the second major cause of death and one of the world’s major health hazards. It is the largest preventable cause of death in the world. It kills more people each year around the world than AIDS, drug abuse, road traffic accidents, murders and suicide combined (Mackay et al, 2002). About 5 million people worldwide die every year from tobacco related diseases. If current trend continues, there will be one death every three seconds by 2030 and a third of them in developing countries (WHO, 1999).
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