Guwahati, May 3: Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami has expressed serious concern over high tobacco consumption in the State. Goswami made this opinion when a team of doctors from Dr Bhubaneswar Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati led by its Director Dr Amal Chandra Kataki and Dr Arundhati Deka from the State Tobacco Control Cell, Assam called on him today. The team appraised the Speaker on the burden of cancer in Assam and the North East while urging him to make the educational institutes of Assam free from tobacco products.
According to the International agency for Research on Cancer, globally there are 3.2 crore patients living with cancer and around 82 lakh people die due to cancer every year. In India, every year 14.5 lakh new cancer patients are diagnosed, and it is projected that by 2020 the number will increase to 17.5 lakh. In Assam, around 32,000 new cancer patients were detected in the year 2015 and 16,000 people died due to cancer that year. The incidence of throat cancer in the NE India is highest in the world. On his part, the Speaker said that during the next Assembly Session he will organize a tobacco sensitization programme for the 126 Members of the Assam Legislative Assembly.