GUWAHATI, June 2: India is the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco in the world, after Chi. Smoking kills up to 950,000 people each year in India. Smokeless tobacco use kills an additiol 200,000 people in India each year, accounting for 74% of the global burden of smokeless tobacco. If current trends continue tobacco will account for 13% of all deaths by 2020.
This data was placed in a workshop here in Guwahati by Hemant Upadhyay of Voluntary Organization in the Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE) New Delhi on the occasion of “WORLD NO TOBACCO DAY. Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum, Assam with the support of VOICE organized this workshop on “Let’s Stop this Cancer Killing”.
Attending in the workshop as an expert Dr. Sraba Misra Bhagabaty, assistant professor-cum- in-charge of Preventive Oncology of Dr. B. BOROOAH CANCER INSTITUTE mentioned that Gutka, a combition of areca nut, slaked lime, paraffin and catechu along with tobacco, is virtually a poison. Promoted as a mouth freshener, this mixture is a combition of 4,000 chemicals of which at least 48 are carcinogenic compounds. Tobacco kills 90 Indians per hour. Forty% of all cancers, 50% cancers in males and 25% cancers in females are tobacco related. 90% of the oral cancers are tobacco related.
In her speech as the chief guest Dr. Arundhuti Deka, State Nodal Officer, State Tobacco Control Cell, Assam said: “Law entrusted power upon the every gazetted officer, vice-chancellor to principals to enforce law on anti-tobacco activities. We cannot stop producing tobacco because it is not banned worldwide by law like bhang and kani. We have already make 11 schools in Kamrup (M), 100 schools and 10 villages in Jorhat district as a tobacco-free zones. Due to the strict enforcement of law all the godowns of tobacco products shifted to Meghalaya from Fancy Bazaar. But tobacco products are smuggling from this boarder state to Assam.”
Victor Rajkumar, Executive Dircetor, Pathik laid stress on awareness on Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act among the common people. With the help of this Act even a common people can fight against the tobacco users without the help of enforcing agencies. According to a recent survey, users of both smoking and non-smoking tobacco, among the females, increase repeatedly in our state.