World No Tobacco Day
World No Tobacco Day is being observed on 31st May 2018 around the globe. The theme for this year “A Threat to Development”, addresses the urgent need to promote health and development more, including tightening tobacco control. Consumption of tobacco creates potential risk for development of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, lung diseases and cancer.
If you’re a tobacco consumer, it is never too late to stop now. People of all ages have benefitted from quitting. These facts below are based on a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO):
According to Dr. C Tetseo, the District Nodal Officer of Dimapur’s National Tobacco Control Programme, some of the major challenges faced to combat the problem is the sheer lack of political will to implement tobacco control laws, lack of awareness among people in the rural areas, and amongst institutions there is poor response from the government schools. He also expressed that the social acceptance of tobacco habit is quite high, and impressed upon the need for the churches to take up a greater role in this.
We also wanted to hear the youth’s take on this, and so we asked some questions to a few of our freshers and seniors at Tetso College. Here’s what they had to say:
Benrithung Junglio, HSSLC (Arts) Rank 1, Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Wokha
“I feel that teenagers like eating tobacco, mostly because it makes them feel more mature.
As for me, I am a Christian so I want to stay away from it. It is also mentioned in the Bible that the body is a temple and so we must keep our body clean.”
Akuminla Pongentsur, HSSLC(Arts) Rank 6, Great Commission Higher Secondary School, Dimapur
“There are many youngsters who consume tobacco. I guess they take tobacco because of their friends’ influence and they also think it’s cool, and then it ends up becoming a habit. Parents never even know their children are consuming it.
I feel that shops should not sell it to kids wearing uniform. Shops must not sell it especially if they are located nearby schools.”
Ria Jain, HSSLC (Com) Rank 10, Christian Higher Secondary School, Dimapur
“I think nowadays consumption amongst high school and higher secondary students is rapidly increasing. Schools and colleges should help prevent it. They should have more seminars about the harmful effects of tobacco, provide guidance and encouragement to help those who consume it stop.
Bad influence from friends could be one of the major reasons for starting, after which they just get addicted to it.”
Cynthia Zeuzeule, HSSLC (Arts) Rank 2, Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Dimapur
“I feel that everyone is already aware that tobacco is harmful but I don’t know why they still take it. I really feel awful for them, because despite knowing it can kill one, they still continue consuming it. Despite restrictions and awareness being done by schools, they just don’t get it.
I think they consume it to try to look more cool and it makes them feel like they are more grown up. ”
Ratna, HSSLC (Com) Rank 7, Pranab Vidyapith Higher Secondary School, Dimapur
“I don’t have any friends who consume tobacco, but I’ve seen a lot of people around me take it.
There are many shops around schools, and so we must tell the shopkeepers not to sell tobacco to the students. Constant checking is also required in institutions.”
Albert Sangtam, General Secretary, Tetso Student Council
Sharing his thoughts on how to prevent consumption of tobacco amongst the youth:
“Engagement in different co-curricular activities and social activities may steer away and distract one’s intentions or urge to consume tobacco. Maybe this will help prevent them from developing these bad habits.”
Lituna Jimo, Asst. General Secretary, Tetso Student Council
“Regular poster campaigns, seminars and setting up of no tobacco zones across all schools, colleges and public places is necessary. One cannot be forced to give up on tobacco, but also it’s not impossible to make someone understand. If a person is made to understand the right way and also about what one is doing to his/her body, then hopefully they will realise and change their ways.”
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editors are Dr Hewasa Lorin, Tatongkala Pongen, Seyiesilie Vupru and Kvulo Lorin. Portrait photographer: Rhilo Mero. For feedback or comments please email:firstname.lastname@example.org.