‘Don’t get hooked to hookah, liquor; drink milk and have healthy celebrations’

With Near Year celebrations a few hours away, different organisations and experts have pitched in to dissuade youths from booze binges and revelry using waterpipe-tobacco smoking, commonly called hookah, among other addictions.

Bharat Swabhiman Trust and Mother Teresa School and Junior College from Vadgaonsheri have undertaken a joint campaign appealing to the residents, especially youngsters, to prefer milk to any other drink during New Year parties.

"It is a scientifically proven fact that one in five social drinkers become habitual. Occasions like New Year celebrations encourage social drinking. Also, road-safety goes for a toss on the night of December 31, risking lives of not only drinkers but also others. All these personal and social menaces can be easily avoided by consuming milk," said Matthew Rosevilla, founder of Mother Teresa School and Junior College.

As a part of their campaign, volunteers of Bharat Swabhiman Trust and students from Mother Teresa School and Junior College and other schools will carry out rallies in different parts of the city to promote drinking of milk during New Year celebrations, among other awareness activities.

Rajeshri Gokhale, a faculty with the Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce, who attended the first international conference aimed to spread awareness about the ill-effects of waterpipe tobacco smoking, held in Abu Dhabi in October, said youths should stay away from hookah.

"Youth are often under the impression that hookah is safe, though it is addictive and has adverse health effects, similar to those of cigarettes. Hookah smoke contains significant amounts of cancer causing ingredients such as arsenic and lead to name a few. Hookah users may also inhale more smoke than cigarette smokers do because hookah sessions last longer and in groups. Sharing the hookah waterpipe may increase the risk of contracting a communicable disease such as tuberculosis and hepatitis," she said.

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