Upendra Bhojani, a member of the Consortium of Tobacco Control, Karnataka alleges that the tobacco industry has been using dubious methods to disrupt public health policies and because of the huge tax benefits from tobacco sales there’s a conflicting mandate from the government as well. “The tobacco industry has been using covert ways to disrupt public health policies, and there is a conflicting mandate within government,” he said. To create awareness on tobacco and to advocate stronger tobacco control measures the district Anti-tobacco Cell is going to organise a workshop on May 31 on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day.
“The Health Ministry is taking measures to curb tobacco menace, while the Commerce Ministry is promoting tobacco trade and industry development through the Indian Tobacco Board. The state government in the last budget, raised taxes on cigarettes and beedis, but rolled back the prices later,” Bhojani said. Smoking is the leading cause of cancer and other chronic diseases. 1 out of 3 cancer-related deaths are caused due to tobacco use.
Tobacco use is estimated to have caused nearly 120,000 deaths across India in 2010, according to research carried out by the Toronto-based Centre for Global Health Research (CGHR) in partnership with Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital. Nearly 600,000 Indians die of cancer every year – over seven in 10 deaths (71 percent) takes place in the 30-69 age group, the most productive period of a person’s life, says the report published in the latest issue of the Lancet medical journal. The study points out that Kerala had among the highest age standardised cancer mortality rates per 100,000 for men in the 30-69 age group (158.5 for all cancers and 53.9 for tobacco-related cancers). Shaan’s anti-smoking song
Picture Courtesy: WHO