Tobacco Breaks Hearts

Tobacco smoking is harmful and causes cancer. But did you know that smoking isa major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) too. CVD causes one of every three deaths, according to the 2014 Surgeon General’s Report on smoking and health. Recognising this warning, WHO will be focusing on the impact of tobacco on cardiovascular health this World No Tobacco Day which will be observed on 31st May, 2018.

In India, every year, more than 9 lakh people are killed because of tobacco causing diseases. Yet, in India, more than 6 lakh children (10-14 years old) and almost 100,000,000 adults (15+ years old) continue to use tobacco each day.  (Source: tobacco atlas)

Tobacco Use in India

  • 19.0% of men, 2.0% of women and 10.7% (99.5 million) of all adults currently smoke tobacco.
  • 29.6% of men, 12.8% of women and 21.4% (199.4 million) of all adults currently use smokeless tobacco.
  • 42.4% of men, 14.2% of women and 28.6% (266.8 million) of all adults currently use tobacco (smoked and/or smokeless tobacco).

Source: GATS

Many call themselves a non-frequent smoker. But even if you smoke less than 5 cigarettes, early signs of CVD can set in. Even if you are smoking cigarettes with lower levels of tar or nicotine it does not reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.  Smokeless tobacco is no less harmful. In India, 171094600 people still currently use smokeless tobacco, indicating an ongoing public health challenge.

Smoking Damages your Heart



Any amount of smoking, even light smoking or occasional smoking can bring about serious damage to the heart and blood vessels. For some people, such as women who use birth control pills and people who have diabetes, smoking poses an even greater risk to the heart and blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is caused when the opening inside the arteries narrows as plaque builds up, and blood can no longer flow properly to various parts of the body. Smoking increases the formation of plaque in blood vessels.


Smokers are at a greater risk of strokes than among former smokers or people who have never smoked. The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart must pump harder to supply the body with the oxygen it needs.

Peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.)

Smoking also is a major risk factor for peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.). In this condition, plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs. This results in an increased risk for heart disease leading to heart attack, and stroke.

When combined with other risk factors—such as unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and overweight or obesity—smoking further raises the risk of heart disease.

Second Hand Smoking is equally harmful

Research shows that exposure to second hand tobacco smoke is a cause of heart disease in non-smokers, which means you could be harming the health of your children, partner or friends.Secondhand smoke lowers good cholesterol, raises blood pressure and damages heart tissues of non-smokers especially children and teens.

Secondhand Smoke in India

  • 38.7% of adults were exposed to second hand smoke at home.
  • 30.2% of adults who work indoors are exposed to second-hand smoke at their workplace.
  • 7.4% of adults were exposed to second hand smoke at restaurants.

Source: GATS

Quit Now

Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels very quickly, but it can be repaired by quitting. Remarkable health improvements can be seen and within a year, heart attack risk drops dramatically. Within five years, most smokers cut their risk of stroke to nearly that of a non-smoker. Even a few cigarettes now and then damage the heart, so the only way to keep your heart safe from the effects of smoking is to quit.

The good news is 55.4% of current smokers in India are planning or thinking of quitting smoking and 49.6% of current smokeless tobacco users are planning or thinking of quitting smokeless tobacco use.  (Source: GATS)

With World No Tobacco Day being observed on May 31st in India along with the rest of the world, Consumer VOICE along with its state partners hope to create an impact and dissuade people from using tobacco in all forms.

Press Meet on Tobacco Intervention at Chennai Press Club on 27 th Feb 2018

Consumer VOICE organized press interaction meet in collaboration with state partner Consumers Association of India at Chennai, Tamil Nadu on February 27, 2018 at Press Club Chennai. The main objective of the workshop was to sensitize the media and discuss the most pressing issues in Tobacco Intervention and how media can play an effective role in tobacco control. Consumer VOICE discussed about COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) and its various provisions, accessibility of tobacco products to youth and how effective enforcement can help in tobacco control.

India has the second largest number of current tobacco users (275 million) in the world. Of these at least 10 lakhs are dying each year from tobacco related diseases. Around 35 % population of Tamil Nadu use some form of tobacco and the number of tobacco users is rising with each passing year.

Ms. Rinki Sharma, Head -Projects & CSR, Consumer VOICE and Mr. Amarjeet Singh, Advisor, Legal & Projects along with Ms. Nirmala Desikan, Chairman, Consumers Association of India and Mr. Somasundaram (Liaison Officer) addressed and interacted with the media.

Media Persons from various electronic, print and online platforms participated in the Press Meet:

  • Malai Murasu TV
  •  Vasanth TV
  • Lotus TV
  • Tamil
  • Jaya TV
  • Krishna TV Online 
  • Flower Online
  • Dinamani Online
  • Dinamalar TNV Edition
  • Kungumam Doctor fortnightly magazine
  • Dinamalar Chennai Edition
  • Dinakaran 
  • News Today
  • Malaisudar Tamil Daily
  • New Indian Express Englih Daily
  • Dinamani
  • The Hindu
Tobacco products still available around Delhi schools despite ban – Consumer VOICE Field Research reveals

Tobacco products still available around Delhi schools despite ban – Consumer VOICE Field Research reveals

Consumer VOICE has been tirelessly fighting against the menace of tobacco. In one of its efforts to bring to the notice of the government that COTPA Act is openly, flouted, the field research team observed 30 schools in Delhi and to its dismay found cigarettes and tobacco products being sold openly by kiosks in close vicinity to the school. Read on the complete report published in a leading National Daily. 
Tobacco products are still being sold close to schools, both private and government, despite restrictions on kiosks or shops within 100 yards of a school to help curb tobacco menace in children.
Observational visit was undertaken by Consumer Voice Delhi, an organisation working on consumer issues, covered 30 schools in south and east Delhi. They found tobacco being sold in 11 schools. The non-government organisation covered both government and private schools.
“As our field research proved, there’s a deadly infiltration of tobacco products around schools despite laws banning the same. Children are being lured into trying out tobacco, which ultimately becomes a habit leading to deadly health consequences. We urge the Delhi government to ensure there are no kiosks or shops near schools and that they should be removed from the 100-yard vicinity of schools to help curb tobacco menace to save innocent children. Tobacco is openly available near educational institutions despite a ban on its sale within 100 yards of a school campus,” said Ashim Sanyal, the chief operating officer of Consumer Voice.‘Deadly infiltration’
The violation, according to those working in the field of tobacco control, is happening despite government claims about taking several stringent measures to curb the menace of tobacco products, and sale of tobacco products in shops near schools and colleges is on a high. This is a violation of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act (COTPA), 2003.
According to the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, conducted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare among students across the country, 14.6% of 13 to 15-year-olds students use tobacco. Of these, 8.1% students smoked tobacco. As many as 11% of all male students surveyed were found to be users of smoking or smokeless tobacco, while 6% of female students used smokeless tobacco and 3.7% smoked tobacco.

According to the Ministry, nearly 37% children in India start smoking before the age of 10 years and 5,500 children start tobacco use daily. The findings of these studies highlight the need for targeted interventions among the youth in general and students in particular, given the marketing overdrive by the tobacco industry to promote its use among the youth.

Authorised shops

The Ministry had recently issued letters to Chief Secretaries of all States, including Delhi, regarding developing mechanism to provide permission/ authorisation through municipal authorities by making a provision that retail shops authorised to sell tobacco products cannot sell any non-tobacco products. The Centre has appealed to the State municipal authorities to regulate sale of tobacco through authorised shops.
“Every day, 5,500 children get lured into tobacco use and a third of them die due of cancer, heart attack, asthma,’’ said Harit Chaturvedi, surgical oncology, Max Health Care, New Delhi. 
World No Tobacco Day Celebration 2017 by Consumer VOICE and its State Partner – Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)

World No Tobacco Day Celebration 2017 by Consumer VOICE and its State Partner – Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)

World No Tobacco Day Celebration 2017 by Consumer VOICE and its State Partner – Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh)

World No Tobacco Day was celebrated on 31st May all over India by various state partners with support from Consumer Voice. To celebrate this day workshops and rallies were organized in Lucknow, UP to generate awareness and risks associated with tobacco consumption.To spread awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco and the role of government, Consumer Guild, Lucknow organized a workshop supported by Consumer VOICE at Valmiki Rangshala, Gomti Nagar on 30 May, 2017. Shri Deepak Nigam Sood, Honorable Ex. District Judge graced the occasion as a chief guest.

The panel discussion which saw the presence of Shri Tripathifrom U.P State Tobacco Control, Shri Ramesh Bhai from BinobaSewa Ashram, Shri Narendra Kumar, Consultant, CTFK, Shri Ravi Bhatt, columnist and historian centered round discussions on various aspects of tobacco usage, and steps taken to control tobacco usage.

Shri Abhishek Srivastava,Chairperson, Consumer Guild addressed the audience and requested them to play their role responsibly towards the tobacco control.Ms.Rinki Sharma, Head-Projects,Consumer VOICE also addressed the audience and urged the government to put Bidis in the highest taxation slab and also urged the public to come forward and play their role strongly.

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