Tobacco use in India is a significant concern, with a growing number of tobacco users and its adverse health effects on society. India harbors the second-highest number of tobacco consumers globally, accounting for over 275 million affected individuals.
Tobacco smoking alone contributed to 481 million ailments in 2020 in the subcontinent – highlighting the vulnerability of the population and the urgency with which this issue needs addressing. Implementing effective policies such as providing financial incentives for smoking cessation and recognizing Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) in insurance regulations could help address the issue. Further, access to research, data, and resources like medications and therapeutic interventions are crucial in reducing tobacco addiction. Collaboration between policymakers, government institutions, NGOs, de-addiction support groups, and healthcare providers is imperative in developing a comprehensive and well-coordinated ecosystem to combat tobacco addiction.
Tobacco Cessation Clinics established under the National Tobacco Control Program are vital in disseminating accurate information and providing interventions for quitting tobacco. Increasing access to cessation services, counseling, group therapy, and behavior modification programs is essential. Governments should also leverage device-based technologies such as mobile apps to educate people about the health risks of smoking and provide means to support quitting efforts. Monitoring progress and evaluating outcomes are crucial for the success of an integrated approach, and public health institutions should have adequate resources and tools to track intervention effectiveness.
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