While smoking in public places in India is banned since 2008 by law, every one knows how effective this legal restriction is. Smoking is rampant allover in India including bus stops and cinema halls. In Kerala, 21.9 percent of the population is addicted to smoking. Smokers are at a high risk of threatening medical conditions.
According to Phinse Philip, a lecturer in the Community Oncology Division of the Malabar Cancer Centre in Kerala, nicotine replacement therapy has been found useful against addiction.
Endorsing the Chinese work on green tea as effective against smoking, Phinse Philip claims, “A majority of users smoke as it purportedly gives them some form of relaxation. The oral intake of the amino acid L-Theanine, uniquely found in green tea, is known to have anti-stress effects and acts as a relaxing agent. The study conducted in China shows that green tea may be an alternative to quit this addictive habit”.
Thomas Varughese, head of surgical oncology and reconstructive surgery at Kochi`s Lakeshore Hospital and Research Centre makes the surprising claim that drinking green tea after quitting smoking can possibly reverse the lung cancer. The claim has some substance as evidenced by a study published in Science Daily datelined Jan 13, 2010.
“Consumption of green tea,” according to Varughese, “can boost immune system by fighting free radicals and can reduce the risk from damage caused by toxins in cigarette smoke” which may be found beneficial to smokers who typically have low levels of vital nutrients like Vitamins C and E, zinc, calcium, folate and the Omega-3 essential fatty acid considered vital for the human body’s immune system.
The WHO estimates that more than one billion people are smokers and half of them are likely to dies because of the habit. Currently, tobacco accounts for one in 10 adult deaths. Drinking green tea according to a research in Taiwan and cited in Bloomberg is likely to offset the genetic predisposition to developing the malignancy.