GUWAHATI: On the occasion of the National Cancer Awareness Day, the Consumers' Legal Protection Forum (CLPF), Assam and Consumer VOICE, Delhi urged all stakeholders to take pledge to protect children and youth from tobacco which is leading cause of cancerous diseases. It urged the State government to implement the rules of tobacco vendor licensing to protect people from tobacco products.
In Assam, Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) data shows the mean age at initiation of tobacco use has increased from 18.1 years in GATS 1 to 18.5 years in GATS 2. The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use has increased significantly from GATS 1 to GATS 2 by 9.0 percentage points. The prevalence of any tobacco use has significantly increased from 39.3 per cent in GATS 1 to 48.2 per cent in GATS 2.
Advocate AjoyHazarika, Secretary, Consumers' Legal Protection Forum, Assam says, "In 2020, tobacco related cancers are estimated to contribute 3.7 lakhs (27.1%) of the total cancer burden. It is the high time we go into combative mode against this disease. Tobacco not only causes direct cancer but also affects various other organs causing peptic ulcer, oesophagus cancer, prostrate, urinary bladder, and pancreas. Tobacco Vendor licensing needs to be implemented to keep the younger generation from the influence of tobacco products".
AshimSanyal, Chief Operating Officer, Consumer VOICE says "Smoking is one of the major contributors to the rise of lung cancer. Tobacco Vendor licensing needs to be implemented to keep the younger generation from the influence of tobacco products as it will keep a track of tobacco retailers and help in effective enforcement of tobacco control laws".
The National Cancer Registry Programme Report 2020, released by The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru, estimates that in 2020 cancer cases in the country will be at 13.9 lakh and likely to increase to 15.7 lakhs by 2025, based on current trends. These estimates are based on information related to cancer collected from 28 Population Based Cancer Registries (PBCRs). Additionally, 58 Hospital Based Cancer Registries (HBCRs) provided cancer data.
Cancers related to use of any form of tobacco were highest in the North-eastern region of the country and in higher proportions in men. Cancer of lung, mouth, stomach and oesophagus were the most common cancers among men.