Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19
Sri Ramakrishna Institute of Oncology and Research (SRIOR) launched its Mobile Oral Screening Bus on Saturday in connection with World No Tobacco Day 2020.
The bus was flagged off by D.Lakshminarayanaswamy, Managing Trustee, SNR Sons Charitable Trust in the presence of Dr.Sukumaran, Dean, Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, Dr.P.Guhan, Director and Chief Medical Oncologist, Dr.K.Karthikesh, Chief Surgical Oncologist, R.Sundar, Joint Managing Trustee, Swathy Rohit, Chief Operating Officer and C.V.Ramkumar, Chief Executive Officer, SNR Sons Charitable Trust.
It is equipped with all dental equipment that includes a dentist team, counsellors and para-medics. The bus will travel to schools, colleges, and factories in and around Coimbatore region and adjoining districts also, thereby targeting the young generation who are most vulnerable.
The team in the bus will screen them for general oral health, oral cancer and pre-cancerous lesions. They will also educate them on various ill effects of tobacco, the best part is in case someone needs help to quit tobacco the team will offer an Nicotine replacement therapy all of this totally free of cost.
Interested institutions and industries can contact the front desk of the Institute and ask for tobacco counsellor 9500722667 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday except government holidays.
SRIOR also released an awareness video on ill-effects of COVID-19 on smokers’ or tobacco abusers’ lungs through its official YouTube channel called ‘Cancer Awareness SRIOR’. The video is available in both languages English and Tamil. It is a three-minute video.
The video highlights that smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. Smokers are 2.4 times more likely to be admitted to an ICU and would need mechanical ventilation or die. This happens because smoking reduces the lungs’ capacity and body’s immunity beside other complication.
The video stresses that quitting smoking almost immediately improves lung-health as they are no longer exposed to the toxic chemicals smoking added earlier. Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, the heart rate and blood pressure drops. After 12 hours the blood’s carbon mono-oxide level lowers. Like this, quitting tobacco and smoking helps the body in many ways and helps the smokers to be not at risk.
SRIOR has been conducting free oral cancer and pre-cancerous lesion screening program for the past 8 years in the districts of Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode. So far 1,18,623 people have been screened in these 3 districts since 2012. Out of which 54,615 use tobacco either by smoking or usage in other forms. Further examination has showed that out of that number, 182 people have oral cancers and 28,075 have pre-cancerous lesions. SRIOR has gone an extra mile to keep them in a close scrutiny / surveillance.
Speaking to the press, Dr.P.Guhan said, the World Health Organization has given the message that young generation should be made alert about the harmful effects of smoking tobacco. It has wished that youth should be prevented from getting into that habit and help the affected get rid of the habit.