Hyderabad: Senior Head and Neck Oncology Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Dr Arsheed H Hakeem during a talk on tobacco and cancer said that tobacco addiction had become a significant health hazard, which every year claimed close to seven million lives.
“Of the seven million, close to six million lives are lost due to direct consumption of tobacco in one form or the other while the rest die due to second hand exposure to toxic tobacco smoke. This makes tobacco consumption a leading cause of death,” he said, while delivering a lecture on ‘Tobacco and Cancer’, organised recently by Public Gardens Walkers’ Association.
The oncologist said not many understand specific health risks of tobacco use. “Smokers who are aware of the risks associated want to quit. But it is difficult for them as they need counselling and appropriate support system which is lagging in India. There is a need to launch a massive campaign to spread awareness,” he said.