An anti-smoking campaign was launched on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day to prevent the rising incidences of oral cancer among the youth of West Bengal.
"In the last five years, oral cancer cases have increased from five to 14 percent among the youth here. We have organised a rally to spread awareness about the disease among them," Asish Mukherjee, director of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Institute (NCRI) here, told IANS.
More people in the age group of 15-30 years are falling to oral cancer, according to Mukherjee.
The NCRI roped in Kolkata Police for a tableau Friday morning, and the organisers intend to continue the initiative throughout the year across the state.
In order to create awareness on the hazards of smoking among non-smokers, voluntary organisations campaigned in rural areas of the state.
"We organised a seminar for the youths who are not yet addicted to smoking. For smokers, we will put up posters and billboards to make them aware of the harmful effects of tobacco consumption," said Rafique Islam of Broad Icon for Rural Dedication (BIRD) which held the seminar jointly with the Cancer Foundation of India.