Webinar as part of 32nd World No Tobacco Day


Addiction is a form of escapism: Prashun Chatterjee
“Addiction is a form of escapism and there’s no link of chewing tobacco with any such symptoms as constipation, depression, anxiety or mental tension”, said Dr. Prashun Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Department of Geriatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi. Dr. Chatterjee was addressing a webinar organized by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti as part of the 32nd World No Tobacco Day.
Citing several health hazards that has its long term effect not just on the person suffering, but their entire family, Dr. Chatterjee said that tobacco industries use radioactive chemicals that has its long term detrimental implications in the form of cancer, stroke and other form of serious infections. Sharing his personal experiences, Dr. Chatterjee said that the worst sufferers are the middle class, where patients who are passive smokers are also affected. He also said that women are the largest consumers of tobacco and this has an adverse impact on pregnant women too.
Shri Rajnish Kumar in his address said that there is a need to generate awareness which needs to be multiplied. He also spoke about the role of AIPC in taking up the Gandhian way of reaching out to people with addiction of different kinds and helping them in de-addiction. Citing early historical reference to the arrival of tobacco in India in Akbar’s court for the first time in India, Shri Rajnish said that Mahatma Gandhi had always spoken in details about prohibition and advocated it in his social mission. He also spoke about the social and economic implications on people being affected with diseases due to consumption of tobacco. He further said that the exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi’s views on ‘Prohibition’ made by the GSDS and gifted to the AIPC has been taken to almost 60 places across the country.
Earlier welcoming the speakers at the webinar, Director GSDS, Shri Dipanker Shri Gyan highlighted the timeliness of the webinar as tobacco has affected millions across the country. Reiterating Mahatma Gandhi’s views that he considered consumption of alcohol and other such ill habits as ‘social evil’, Shri Dipanker Shri Gyan said that consumption of tobacco has destroyed and ruined many families. He also hoped that the discussion by experts like Dr. Prashun and Shri Rajnish whom he called a social engineer would help in understanding the issue and promote youth towards volunteering for spreading awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco consumption.
Participants also put forward their views and asked questions before the panelists during the session.