"Say no to the smoke which burns you slowly to the grave", was the message from The Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, during the inaugural of the cancer awareness drive which marked 'World No Tobacco' Day at the Art of Living International Center.
The awareness drive, jointly organized by The Art of Living and BGS Global Hospitals included an exhibition on the harmful effects of tobacco consumption. Shri Somashekhar, MLA from Uttarahalli constituency; and Dr. K. Ravindranath, Chairman and Managing Director, Global Hospitals Group; and Dr Vishal Rao, Head and Neck Onco Surgeon, BGS Global Hospitals were present at the occasion.
The graphic and colourful exhibits portrayed various messages aiming to educate the visitors on ill effects of tobacco consumption in its various forms and passive smoking. The exhibit also stressed on prevention through awareness and encouraged people to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
In its effort to curb addiction, The Art of Living has initiated a special seven- day workshop for tobacco cessation called 'Stop Smoking and Start Living'. During the workshop, participants go through various processes like yoga, pranayama and Sudarshan Kriya that specifically address the addiction. Studies by Mr. Harish Rawat, Clinical Researcher at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Clinical Research Data Management Department, Noida, have reported that the workshop has been effective in abating the addiction.
The workshop has helped thousands of smokers by suggesting simple lifestyle changes. In addition, the workshop also addresses the issue of withdrawal symptoms.
Dr. K. Ravindranath, reiterated the hospital’s commitment towards it's social responsibility in creating a healthy society. He appealed to all the smokers - both active and passive, to have a health checkup on a regular basis. Dr Vishal Rao, Head and Neck Onco Surgeon, BGS Global Hospitals also delivered a health talk.
Some of the key messages and statistics at the exhibition were:
About 15 billion cigarettes are sold daily worldwide.
A glimpse of what passive smoking can do – It can cause brain tumours in children, heart attack among spouses, sudden infant death syndrome, pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections, severe asthma and cancer.
Someone dies from tobacco abuse every eight seconds.
Tobacco contains more than 6,000 chemicals, 70 of them are carcinogens.