17 regional cancer centers in India have urged the Prime Minister, Dr.
Manmohan Singh, to impose a countrywide ban on the sale of tobacco products
like gutka and pan masala. Following which the Supreme Court
of India is soon considering to impose a total ban on gutka and other forms of
smokeless tobacco products. In India tobacco chewing is the leading cause of
oral cancer. With more than 1million Indians dying of cancer per year, India is
known as the world capital for oral cancer.
7-13% children aged 10-15years
consume smokeless tobacco products, while 3 out of 4 adults use these products with
1 of them being addict to the products. These gutka, mawa and khaini products contain
about 3095 chemical products out of which 28 have been proved as carcinogens
that can lead to cancer of the esophagus, throat, pancreas, stomach, kidney and
lungs. It has been found that gutka products contain heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium and copper.
Social activists are looking forward
for the implementation of this ban as they are fed up with the cases suffering from smokeless tobacco use.