SHILLONG: Concern has been raised on tobacco users in Meghalaya during the district- level coordination committee (DLCC) meet on National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP)-cum-Orientation of Stakeholders on NTCP, East Khasi Hills District, that was held here on Tuesday.
According to the statistics released recently, Meghalaya has the highest incidence of esophageal cancer in the country. Meghalaya ranks fifth with 47 per cent tobacco users and second with 31.6 per cent smokers in the Northeast. These figures are as per the ‘Global Adult Tobacco Survey’.
Addressing the gathering, M War Nongbri, Deputy Commissioner and Chairman District Level Coordination Committee on NTCP, East Khasi Hills District said that the menace of tobacco needs a multi-pronged strategy where all the stakeholders, various government departments and District Administration need to work collectively to take necessary measures to control the abuse of tobacco.
To ensure that the district moves in the right direction to tackle the problems arising out of the abuse of tobacco, War stressed on the need to intensify awareness programmes among health workers, law enforcers, NGOs, school teachers and students about the addictive and harmful effects of tobacco.
Dr. L. Lyngdoh Nongbri, State Nodal Officer, NTCP, Meghalaya informed that the goal of the NTCP is to prevent tobacco initiation among youth and adults, promote tobacco quitting among adults and youth, eliminate exposure to tobacco smoke (SHS), ensure pack warnings and reduce supply by restricting tobacco access to minors.
Among others who spoke on the occasion were Dr MR Basaiawmoit, District Health Medical Officer, East Khasi Hills, and Dr. B. Kanti, District Nodal Officer, NTCP.
It may be mention that each year, an estimated seven million people die of tobacco-related causes; and 1.2 million die in India from smoking. Around 80 per cent of oral cancer is attributed to tobacco use.
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