LETTER TO THE EDITOR
When Kids Played Key Role in Tobacco Cessation
Corresponding Author: Ramesh Aggarwal, Department of Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India, Phone: +91 9818626614, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to cite this article: Aggarwal R, Dwivedi S. When Kids Played Key Role in Tobacco Cessation. Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci 2023;65(1):52–53.
Source of support: Nil
Conflict of interest: None
Tobacco-free society is one of the goals and cherished vision of the World Health Organization (WHO). The health-related ill effects of tobacco are devastating and have ruined families due to multiple health morbidities and economic consequences thereby. Prevention of tobacco habit and tobacco cessation are key methods that should be adopted to avoid such devastation. Amongst various strategies adopted and recommended for tobacco cessation, advice given by very young children for tobacco cessation seems to be an innovative tool especially when one elder in the family are addicted to tobacco. We have come across such families where the young children of these families advised their parents to leave the habit of tobacco. Such an initiative from the young generation can have long-lasting influence on tobacco prevention strategies.
Keywords: Prevention of tobacco related diseases, Smokeless tobacco, Tobacco cessation.
ABBREVIATIONS USED IN THIS ARTICLE
CAD = Coronary artery disease; HTN = Hypertension; NCDs = Noncommunicable diseases; PTCA = Percutaneous transluminaal coronary angioplasty; TG = Triglyceride; T2DM = Type 2 diabetes mellitus; WHO = World Health Organization.
This editorial is being submitted to bring up an important issue of the prevention of tobacco use in our society. We all know that India is facing a serious problem of tobacco use and any effort to prevent its use in society will have exponential benefits for the society. Keeping in view the benefits of counseling tobacco cessation, we have highlighted the role of small children who can be an ambassador for advising their parents to quit smoking or tobacco use. Small children are observant of everything in their surroundings and when they see their parents smoking, they start questioning and confronting their parents for this addicting habit. Parents are sensitive to the needs of their growing children and advise from their children can have wonderful effects on quitting this habit. We have come across such families where the young children of these families advised their parents to leave the habit of tobacco. Such an initiative from the young generation can have long-lasting influence on tobacco prevention strategies.
Tobacco-free society is the cherished aim of the World Health Organization (WHO).1 To accomplish this much-desired objective one has to create awareness among people about the ill effects of tobacco so that no one picks up this habit anymore and motivate others to quit this habit who smoke or take tobacco in any form for their interest and for the good of the society.2,3 We report herewith four cases observed during 5 years where young kids have played a key role in persuading their parents to quit tobacco (Table 1).
|S. no.||Name||Age||Sex||Tobacco type||Diagnosis||Who motivated||What prompted the kid to motivate|
|1||PK||45 years||M||Smokeless tobacco (10 years)||HTN||4 years daughter||Listening to the harms produced by tobacco in hospital OPD|
|2||BSR||60 years||M||Bidi (35+ years)||T2DM, central obesity, CAD||5 years granddaughter||Persistent cough and bad smell|
|3||GRV||45 years||M||Bidi (30 years)||HTN, T2DM, Dyslipidemia (TG+), Left renal colic, cholelithiasis||11 years son||Mother of the child asked the son to keep a watch on smoking and report to attending doctor|
|4||RRS||65 years||M||Bidi (45 years)||HTN, CAD, Post-PTCA||3 years grand-daughter||Recurring cough, breathlessness and bad smell associated with smoking|
Implication: These instances provide us a lead that young kids as small as 3 years can be used as ambassadors of important health messages against tobacco, alcohol, and consumption of junk food to elders in their family.4 It is submitted that this preventive strategy using young kids to sensitize elders in the family will be another effective tool in combating tobacco-induced epidemic of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). A sensitized child is a powerful ambassador of change at home.
1. GenNext-Exit NCDs. Intervention tool for prevention of NCD risk factors among school children World Health Organization, Region Office for South-East Asia 2020.
2. Dwivedi S. in Tobacco Atlas (Hindi - ). Published by Chief Medical Officer Office, Sector10, Dwarka, New Delhi, Family Welfare Directorate, Government of Delhi. 2011. p. 26.
3. Dwivedi S, Yadava OP. Creating health consciousness among adolescent students - An innovative initiative. Indian Pediatr 2017;54(11);974. PMID: 29217811.
4. Dwivedi S, Pathak R, Agarwalla R, et al. The intergenerational transmission of tobacco habit: Role of parents and the family. J Family Med Prim Care 2016;5(2):373–377. DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.192379.
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