KANNUR: Tobacco users, who risk developing cancer, heart disease and a host of other ailments, have another piece of bad news, especially if they happen to be unmarried youngsters. In a development which may force many to kick the habit, 220 college girls from Kannur, Kozhikode and Kasaragod have taken a pledge not to marry a person having tobacco habits. The pledge was taken during a webinar organised by the Malabar Cancer Care Society (MCCS) here on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day on Tuesday.
"While planning to organise a webinar in connection with the World No Tobacco Day, we decided to come up with something innovative and interesting, which will draw the public's attention to the importance of the message," D Krishnanatha Pai, president of MCCS.
Anupama Pradeep, final year BSc student of Mahatma Gandhi Government Arts College, Mahe, said," I am really happy to be a part of this webinar as it will help spread the message of no tobacco use among the public. Instead of watching the boys smoke and ruin their health, we also could do something to persuade them to stop smoking. That's what I was trying to do by participating in this webinar."
R Shanthini, second year BSc biotechnology student of Chinmaya College here, said she has already made up her mind not to marry a smoker."I have already decided that I will not marry a smoker. As this occasion came, I happily joined the team to renew my pledge. And I felt this idea is highly innovative and extremely interesting," she said.
Some of the girls who attended the webinar disclosed that they had lost their near and dear to cancer caused by smoking and hence they wanted to propagate the message against killer tobacco. Malabar Cancer Care Society has been running an anti-tobacco campaign, warning the public of its dangerous effects, for many years now. Through constant and tireless efforts, the society has helped bring down tobacco consumption among people, besides the successful innovative Comprehensive Cancer Care Initiatives to save hundreds of lives, especially those of the underprivileged.
Malabar Cancer Care Society was also successful in compelling the jail department to implement the historic smoking ban in Kerala's prisons. This was later adopted by prisons in other states. 'Commitment to quit smoking' is the theme of World No Tobacco Day this year is . MCCS organised two webinars on the day. The first webinar held at 10.30am was attended by 98 participants and second one featured the 220 college girls from Kannur, Kasaragod and Kozhikode.
MCCS is committed to continue the fight against tobacco, said D K Pai. The webinar was inaugurated by Babu Mathew, former community oncology head, Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram and presided by D K Pai. Jayakrishnan, additional professor, RCC, delivered the keynote address. MCCS vice- president B V Bhat & Breast Cancer Brigade Project medical director Suchithra Sudheer offered felicitations. Awareness Classes were handled by MCCS medical director V C Ravindran and medical officer Harsha Gangadharan. MCCS vice-president Maj P Govindan and joint secretary T M. Dileep Kumar also spoke.