That the use of tobacco is responsible for the untimely deaths of one among 10 adults worldwide shows just how hazardous its use can be.
Although there are campaigns being carried out to discourage people from smoking and smokers to
kick their habit, little headway is being made particularly in developing countries like Nepal. Although smoking is banned in public places like hospitals, public transport and workplaces one can see this ban not being fully complied with. The prohibition should be taken up seriously and those found violating this should be punished as per the provision. However, although fines can be imposed in such cases the offenders, even if caught, are let off easily.
Being lenient only emboldens the culprits so the authorities should be strict about imposing non smoking rules. Mere observance of the World No-tobacco Day as a mere formality is not going to be of much help unless the campaign is a sustained one. The need is to generate awareness about the dangers of smoking and the risk that tobacco users are taking by ruining their health which could often become fatal.
It is realized that in countries like Nepal, where a large segment of the population is illiterate,
many take up the smoking habit from ignorance. It is thus found necessary to get the message across
that smoking is very harmful and what better way than by graphic and pictorial health warnings. Such warnings should be displayed prominently so that smokers think twice about their habit. At the same time, such
displays would help convey the warning of the harmful effects of tobacco use amongst the illiterate masses. The media also has an important role to play in discouraging the use of tobacco substances. The media should try to bring a change in the image of tobacco use targeting especially the adolescents and youths. Since the majority of smokers pick up this habit early on in life, special campaigns need to be developed so that they do not fall victims to peer pressure to smoke.
Furthermore, the government stands a lot to lose with the rise of population requiring treatment from various afflictions resulting from tobacco use. Nepal has signed the Framework Convention on Tobacco Consumption, but the government apparently has not lived up to its commitments. One can see children smoking in public places although cigarettes sales are not allowed to minors. What is also a matter of concern is that there are many female smokers and many of them are not aware of the dangers of smoking when pregnant and the harm they would be doing to the foetus. Apart from carrying out campaigns against smoking, it would
be in order to restrict their sales to only a few shops. Innovative ideas should be solicited to deal with
the problem posed by the increasing number of smokers. This clearly calls for changing the lifestyle
of the people so that they do not become addicted to smoking. Thus, the slogan for this year’s No-tobacco Day “Tobacco Health Warning” warning is appropriate for the most harmful effect of tobacco use is on the health of those who are addicted to it.
The media should try to bring a change in the image of tobacco use targeting especially the adolescents