Puducherry: The habit of smoking is on the rise in India, even as the trend is registering a steady decline in the Western countries, an expert has said.
World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that there were around 94 million smokers in India, Dr K H Kisku, Head of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at the Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), said here yesterday.
“While the incidence of smoking is drastically coming down in the West, it is on the rise in India,” he said.
Among these 94 million smokers in India, 14 million were suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), he said, on the eve of World COPD day.
Smoking is the prime cause of COPD and the disease had been found to be the fourth leading cause of deaths, he added.
Asserting that COPD was curable, he however, said that one should quit smoking immediately and undergo treatment for getting better results.
Kisku said that sometimes even non-smokers would suffer from the COPD due to passive smoking. Constant exposure to fumes from cooking stoves and polluted air could also lead to the disease.
The percentage of damage suffered by the lungs could be ascertained with the help of spirometer, he said.
The PIMS is conducting a free spirometry test till 16 November.