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World No Tobacco Day Celebration at BBCI

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  28 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

GUWAHATI, May 27: Globally tobacco use is considered to be a major risk factor for premature deaths. In India, tobacco related cancers account for major burdens of all cancers. In India, 10 lakhs people die every year due to tobacco related diseases and it is projected that this figure will be doubled by 2020. The prevalence of tobacco consumption in the country is 34% whereas it is 39.3% in the State of Assam. In other north eastern states tobacco consumption is significantly higher. As per the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, there are 3095 chemical components in smokeless tobacco products of which 28 are proven carcinogens, a press release said.

Some of these substances or carcinogens are poisonous substances like arsenic, DDT, hydrogen cyanide, phenol, mercury, phthalene, acetone, lead and tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines. As per the latest report of Cancer Registry, 49.7% of all cancers in male and 24.1% in female in Urban Kamrup district are tobacco related cancer. In Dibrugarh district, it is 51.6% in male and 22.8% in female. Similarly, in Cachar district 46.2% and 20.6% in male & female respectively are tobacco related cancer. As per Hospital Based Cancer Registry, tobacco related cancer at Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute constitutes 56.0% in male and 25.5% in female. At Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, 43.1% in male and 14.1% in female are tobacco related cancer. It is alarming to note that 52.3% of adult in India are exposed to second-hand smoke at home and 29.9% at work place and 29% at public places. In recent years, there have been momentous developments in the field of tobacco control. The collaborative activities involving many organizations have played a major role in this development. Some of the achievements are progressive increase in the state level tax on tobacco products in large number of states, ban on Gutka in all states, ban on manufactured smokeless tobacco products in at least 11 states, ban on manufactured areca nut products in two states, imposition of 85% pictorial warning labels, Juvenile Justice Act imposing harsh pelties on sale of tobacco products to minors, Legal Metrology Act effectively banning sale of loose cigarettes and bidis and many such developments. All these have led to reduction of sale of smokeless tobacco products from less than 600,000 tons in 2008 to less than 100,000 tons in 2013. It is projected that this will reduce further to approximately 10,000 tons by 2018. According to report of Public Health Foundation India, Govt. of India spent about Rs.10,000 crores for treatment of four major tobacco related group of diseases. The Govt. of Assam in 2011 out of its total health budget of Rs.541.2 crores spent Rs.157.8 crores for treatment of tobacco related diseases alone.

Every year, 31st May is celebrated worldwide as No Tobacco Day. This year's theme for World No Tobacco Day is "get ready for plain packaging". Plain packaging requires removal of all branding. It permits manufacturer to print only the brand me in a mandated size, font and place on the pack, in addition to the health warnings and any other legally mandated information.

The Department of Preventive Oncology of Dr. B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) in collaboration with GL Publications, Guwahati has conducted 10 tobacco awareness camps in the Kamrup District including sensitization workshops at educatiol institutions like Cotton College and Gauhati University in the month of May 2016. The Institute has also organized indoor games for cancer patients and art competition among the students related to the theme of the World No Tobacco Day. Tobacco control has remained as the real challenge to public health specialist and policy makers over the years, which demands inter-sectoral coordition and capable human resources in the field of tobacco control. BBCI in association with the GLP Social Circle will felicitate various organizations and individuals for their contribution for tobacco control in the state of Assam in the Auditorium of the Institute on 31st May 2016 at 2:30 PM. On the same occasion, prominent citizens who have given generous fincial aid for treatment of poor cancer patients will also be felicitated.

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