Jaipur: Keeping cigarettes at bay may no longer shield you from the ill-effects of smoking. For, in Jaipur you don't inhale, but "smoke" air. The deadly components of cigarettes that doctors proscribe are now mixed in dangerous proportions in the atmosphere due to uncontrolled pollution in many parts of city.
Latest data released by the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board shows alarming levels of respiratory suspended particulate matter (RSPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in city's air. According to the data, the proportion of harmful contaminants in the air we breathe has doubled and in some cases quadrupled from the stipulated safety norms.
Experts with the pollution control board found an overdose of harmful and carcinogenic pollutants like lead, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons which are also present in cigarettes.
The dangerous mixture in our atmosphere has made us vulnerable to malignant diseases and respiratory problems, which doctors across the board admit has increased and worsened in the people in Jaipur. According to experts, there are polycyclic hydrocarbons in polluted air which includes some of those present in cigarettes.
"There are about 2500 polycyclic hydrocarbons and various components of respiratory suspended particulate matter in the polluted air; this has definitely contributed to an increase in cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma in Jaipur," Dr Deepak Yadhuvanshi of Fortis hospital said. COPD was earlier considered to be a by-product of smoking. But, the cases of COPD and Asthma are increasing due to due to high levels of pollution in city, Yadhuvanshi added.
Doctors say the respiratory ailments become chronic especially in the winters when the quality of air is thick. During monsoons RSPM level decreases slightly but due to the ever increasing number of vehicles it hardly makes any difference over the year.