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Healthcare professionals should be proactive in motivating tobacco users to quit and save them from cancer: Experts

Chandigarh, June 26, 2022 (Yes Punjab News)
An Induction Program in Tobacco Cessation (IPTC) was conducted for Doctors by the Strategic Institute for Public Health Education and Research (SIPHER) and E-Resource Centre for Tobacco Control (e-RCTC), Dept. of Community Medicine, PGIMER in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO), Punjab Medical Council (PMC), Indian Medical Association and Indian Dental Association.

Dr Rakesh Gupta President SIPHER, a WHO Awardee, and a former Director of Health Services, Punjab deliberated upon various anti-tobacco laws to be followed in public places, by the general public and tobacco vendors including all sections of COTPA, Gutkha Ban under FSSAI, protection of minors under JJ Act, curtailing illicit tobacco products under Legal Metrology Act and ban on E-Cigarettes under PECA 2019 Act and the recent trends in tobacco consumption, with special emphasis on E-Cigs/ENDS and Hookah Bars. He suggested improving tobacco selling vendor compliance with awareness of tobacco vendors and stricter implementation of tobacco control laws in public places to reduce tobacco use among the youth.

Dr Rana J. Singh, Deputy Regional Director, The Union Southeast Asia said that Tobacco use is the leading cause of 14% Non-Communicable Diseases including cancer, and results in 1.4 million deaths in India and 7 million deaths in the world, yearly. He emphasized that the Healthcare professionals should be proactive in motivating tobacco user patients to quit and have a very important role to play in Tobacco Control and protect kids from getting addicted to this gateway drug.

Dr Sonu Goel, Director, Resource Centre for Tobacco Control (E-RCTC) and Professor, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, a WHO awardee, deliberated upon the ill effects of tobacco – on general health, oral health, and economic implications in a very live wire interactive session.

Dr Arpit Gupta, Associate Prof., Oral Health Sciences Centre, PGIMER, Chandigarh talked about the Tobacco addiction process in detail and how to identify the addiction level. His take-home message was that Tobacco products are effective delivery systems for the drug nicotine, Nicotine is a highly addictive drug that induces a constellation of pharmacologic effects, Nicotine activates the dopamine reward pathway in the brain, which reinforces continued tobacco use, and that Tobacco users who are dependent on nicotine self-regulate tobacco intake to maintain pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal.

Dr Rakesh Gupta, President, of Rajasthan Cancer Foundation talked about Health Care Professional’s Empowerment in Tobacco cessation delivery. He deliberated upon the brief intervention and behavioral Therapy for tobacco cessation Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) & Pharmacotherapy for tobacco intervention and prevention of relapse. He emphasized that addiction to Nicotine is the reason for rampant tobacco use and Cessation delivery is a combination of counseling and pharmacotherapy.

Dr Sanwaria A P, an ex-Army Senior Physician from Chandigarh, and Dr R P Gupta, Former President, ICD & IDA Chandigarh who were the Guests of Honour shared their personal experiences with motivating their patients in quitting tobacco and they urged young professionals to adopt the ABC approach i.e., Ask all people about their smoking status and document this, provide Brief advice to stop smoking to all people who smoke, regardless of their desire or motivation to quit and make an offer of, and refer to or provide, evidence-based Cessation treatment for which they have been empowered by IPTC program.

Mr Arun Verma, Director of Operations SIPHER and an alumnus of JHSPH USA concluded the workshop by saying that it was overwhelming that more than seventy-five doctors attended the workshop with enthusiasm and that IPTC Program will help participants in motivating their patients to quit tobacco.

Mr. Rajeev Chaudhary Project Coordinator, PGIMER Chandigarh proposed a vote of thanks to all dignitaries and attendees and PMC for allotting CME credit hours.

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