Expressing concern over the high prevalence of oral cancer in India,experts have warned that unless tobacco is curbed through stringent measures,it would have a disastrous effect on the future generations and mar the health profile of the nation.
On World No Tobacco Day on Friday,statistics were quoted to show how India continuous to have the dubious distinction of having the highest prevalence of oral cancer in the world. India reports 75,000-80,000 new oral cancer cases every year,around 85 per cent of the global total. Chewable tobacco and gutkha contribute to 90 per cent of oral cancer cases in the country.
On World No Tobacco Day on Friday,Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi,Associate Professor at Tata Memorial Hospital,said the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged strict measures to bring down tobacco use to 5 per cent by 2040.
Dr Chaturvedi was recently the Global Cancer Ambassador from India to the United Nations and is among key organisers of the Voice of Tobacco Victims (VOTV),a national campaign against smokeless tobacco.
Pune-based Dr Kalyan Gangwal,the founder of the Sarva Jeev Mangal Pratishthan,said 30 per cent of cancers and over 80 per cent of chronic bronchitis can be traced to tobacco use. There are other adverse effects of tobacco like respiratory diseases,peptic ulcer and complications during pregnancy, Gangwal said.
Commenting on the years anti-tobacco campaign,Ban tobacco advertising,promotion and sponsorship, Gangwal said a ban on ads is essential if tobacco has to be rooted out.
Smokeless tobacco use has been high in the country for years and the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010) corroborated it by showing that nearly one-third of the Indian population is addicted to one form or other of smokeless tobacco.
The addicts include a large number of children and youth.
We need to sensitize children as high prevalence of tobacco consumption among them continues to be a major challenge, said chest physician Dr Nitin Abhyankar,who is part of Prevent Addictions through Childrens Education (PACE). There is concern over the future generation getting hooked to various forms of tobacco. Tobacco kills about 2,700 Indians every day and studies have shown that 5,500 youth in India are initiated to tobacco use every day.