'COPD causes an economic loss of Rs 35,000 crores.'
'We cannot afford to lose such a huge amount due to one disease.'
'COPD is a non-communicable disease and that's why it remained low in priority.'
'The time is right to shift the focus to COPD as HIV/AIDS and TB are under control.
'This badly neglected disease has become the second largest cause for deaths in India.'
'It is time for us to wake up and give due importance to this disease.'
India has 18% of the world's population, but accounts for 32% global respiratory diseases.
India tops the world in death due to lung diseases.
About 34% of all Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) are due to air pollution. Only 21% of COPD cases are due to smoking, Dr Sundeep Salvi revealed in Chennai recently.
Dr Salvi, one of India's leading pulmonologists, is the director of the Chest Research Foundation, Pune.
The CRF is a state-of-the art research institute dedicated to research and education in the field of respiratory diseases, with focus on obstructive airways diseases.
Dr Salvi is also on the board of directors of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease and is the only person from Asia to be in the GOLD committee.
"Many people are not even aware that a mosquito coil produces as much amount of pollution that is equal to smoking 100 cigarettes in one night!," Dr Salvi tells Rediff.com's Shobha Warrier.
Graphs: Kind courtesy Dr Sundeep Salvi