Smoking causes individuals to be placed in a high-risk category when seeking life insurance, thus increasing their premium compared to a non-smoker.
Nearly 40 per cent people quit smoking and tobacco use after getting enrolled in the National Tobacco Quit Line Service, according to data revealed by Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute. Aimed at helping habitual smokers and tobacco users to quit its use, the programme was launched by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 30 May 2016.
Of 5,179 registered callers, 2010 quit smoking or chewing tobacco after receiving counselling from quit line service.
The data gathered between 30 May 2016 and 31 May 2017 revealed that majority of the registered callers were educated adults in the age group of 25-64 years, which points to the fact that they were well aware of harmful effects of tobacco use but still chose to indulge in such delirious habits.
The data analysis further revealed that maximum number of callers (73.4 per cent) had no family history of tobacco use. Experts said that majority of adults and youth are using tobacco under peer pressure, status symbol, to fit in group, work pressure, stress, imitation, family conflicts, relationship issues, anxiety and social conformity among others.
Interestingly, 46.45 per cent registered callers were from Uttar Pradesh who were seeking counselling to help them quit, followed by Delhi. The tobacco cessation programme is headed by Dr Raj Kumar, HOD of National Centre of Respiratory Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest hospital.
“Tobacco quit-line services are the telephone-based free of cost services, with primary objective to provide counselling for tobacco cessation. These services include support through educational material in the form of message, e-mail and websites,” said Dr Kumar.
He further added, “The toll free service is a good way to reach people who are reluctant to come forward with their problem of addiction due to their fear of being judged or being embarrassed or shy. Hopefully, more people will reach out and come out of it as winner.”
National Tobacco Quit Line Services (NTQLS) is confidential, non-judgmental telephone counselling, information and referral service for anyone seeking help for self or another person.