By Our Staff Reporter
LAHORE – The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing nearly six million people a year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Unless urgent action is taken, the annual death toll could rise to more than eight million by 2030. Nearly 80% of the more than one billion smokers worldwide live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is the heaviest.
In Pakistan 110,000 people die yearly due to tobacco usage. Death due to tobacco is preventable thus it is essential that the adverse effects of its use on the health and well being be highlighted. In lieu of this, the World No Tobacco Day is commemorated every year on the 31st of May by the World Health Organization (WHO). It was initiated in 1987 and is met with enthusiasm and some resistance worldwide each year. Every year WHO advocates a certain theme, this year the theme is “Stop Illicit Trade of Tobacco Products”.
College of Dentistry, Sharif Medical & Dental College also commemorated this day on the 29th of May 2015. The Principal of College of Dentistry, Prof. Dr. Col. IffatBatool Syed and Director of Clinics, Dr. Chaudhary Muhammad Aslam were the Governing body of this event while the Faculty of the Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry; DrAyma Syed, Associate Professor and Head of Department ,DrAmnaNauman,Assistant Professor, DrNafisa Mubarak Khan, Senior Lecturer and DrMadiha Aziz, Demonstrator, supervised this event.
Brown colored ribbons were made by students of 2nd Year BDS and distributed to audience as a symbol of fight against tobacco. Brochures were also distributed to the audience containing basic tobacco related statistics in Pakistan and worldwide along with the schedule of the event. A number of posters made by the students for competition were exhibited in the auditorium depicting the harmful effects of tobacco use.
The posters were judged by senior faculty members of the Dentistry fraternity of SMDC, which included Dr. Mirza Abdul Rauf, Dr. M. Sumair Farooq, Dr. Majid Jahangir, Dr. Uzair Bin Akhtar, Dr. Sadia Rana, Dr. Saadullah and Dr. Mubashir Rasheed on the basis of poster layout, presentation skills, creativity and knowledge regarding the topic.
Power Point Presentations were made by students and House Surgeons on the ill effects of tobacco. The topics presented were,‘Introduction to WNTD’, ‘Second hand smoking’, ‘Smokeless tobacco’, ‘Tobacco and oral cancer’, ‘Scent of death’ and ‘How to quit tobacco intake’.
Certificates were awarded to the winners of the poster competition. First, second and third prize were won by 3rd Year BDS, House Officer and 2nd Year BDS respectively.
Principal College of Dentistry, Prof. Dr. Col. IffatBatool Syed concluded the event by highlighting the deleterious effects of smoking and second hand smoke intake. She lauded the efforts of Community Dentistry Department for organizing a successful event and students for their active participation in raising awareness against tobacco- The Silent Killer!