No Tobacco Day: A Tobacco-Free Future Starts Today

Every year on May 31st, the World Health Organization (WHO) observes No Tobacco Day, a global campaign highlighting the dangers of tobacco use and advocating for effective policies that reduce tobacco consumption.

Here at M | O | C Cancer Care & Research Centre, this day holds particular significance, especially since we witness firsthand the devastating effects of tobacco on individuals and families, and we understand the critical role tobacco cessation plays in cancer prevention and treatment.

India faces a huge public health challenge due to widespread tobacco use. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2016-17, 28.6% of adults in India consume tobacco products in some form, which translates to millions of individuals, including young adults, exposing themselves and those around them to the harmful effects of tobacco.

Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for numerous cancers, accounting for an estimated 25% of cancer deaths globally. In India, tobacco use is a leading cause of lung cancer, which remains the most common cancer death among men. It also contributes significantly to oral cancers, esophageal cancer, and bladder cancer.

Here's how tobacco harms the body and increases cancer risk:

Tobacco has been known to weaken the body’s immune system, reducing its ability to fight infectious diseases. Studies also show that tobacco can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Tobacco contains substances called carcinogens which are literally agents that cause cancer. Carcinogens act by damaging the genetic structure of the cells leading to uncontrolled growth of cells and development of cancerous tumors.
Tobacco is known to cause chronic inflammation in the body which leads to the production of inflammatory substances which also promote cancer growth.