Call to raise awareness against tobacco use

Kathmandu, October 25

Experts have stressed on increasing public awareness of the serious health risks of smoking and tobacco consumption.

Speaking at an interaction organised by Cancer Council Nepal here yesterday, Dr Binod Man Shrestha, chief specialist at the Ministry of Health, said social organisations, civil society and ministries should work jointly to control tobacco consumption.

Dr Shrestha, who was the chief guest of the programme, said enforcement of laws alone was not enough and people should be made aware about the harmful effects of tobacco use. He said smoking had become a leading cause of deaths due to incommunicable diseases in the country and urged the government to take measures to discourage smoking.

Praising Cancer Council Nepal for organising awareness programmes, Dr Shrestha said, “Such programmes help create a healthy society. Unless we create a healthy society development of the country cannot be imagined.”

Cancer Specialist Dr Bishnu Dutta Paudel said smoking was the cause of cancer, heart diseases and other non-communicable diseases in 80 per cent cases.  “If anti-tobacco law of 2011 is strictly implemented, the percentage of smokers can be reduced significantly and it  will reduce the health care cost of the country.”

Former secretary Kishor Thapa urged people from all walks of life to contribute to control tobacco use.