- Cancel Cancer campaign in India was launched by the Ministry of State for Health and Family Welfare.
- In India 34.6% of the population use tobacco either as cigarettes or as smokeless chewable form.
- In 2010, smoking caused about 1 million deaths, or 10% of all deaths in India, with about 70% of these deaths occurring at the ages of 30 and 69 years.
The cancer awareness initiative, 'Cancel Cancer' was launched by the Ministry of State for Health and Family Welfare at the Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi.
The initiative aims to increase awareness on various lethal effects of tobacco, how it causes cancer and the measures to be taken to control it. The 360 degree event work has been conceptulised by Design Theka, BVM Design and Media House Pvt. Ltd., a creative led advertising agency based in Delhi.
‘The consumption pattern of tobacco has likely changed over the last decade in response to substantially higher income in India paired with population growth and perhaps in response to modest tobacco control efforts.’
At the launch, Hon'ble Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste said, "Today, tobacco and its products are easily available at cheaper rates at every nook and corner of our country. These are being consumed mainly by the youth specially the school going kids of the middle and poor class. The sale of tobacco has been banned in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. In Delhi, the ban on tobacco has been imposed many times but this is reflected only on papers.
Shri Naresh Kumar Tyagi, President, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Smt. S.K Hospital Employees Union; Shri Bishamber Dayal, General Secretary, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Smt. S.K Hospital Employees Union; Dr. A.P Maheshwari, IPS, A.D.G. BSF and the renowned doctors from Lady Hardinge Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital were present at the launch of the campaign in New Delhi to promote the cause.
One main reason for the campaign is to stop the use of tobacco because, the habit seems to set in at a very young age causing serious damage to health. In India, one in five who are addicted to tobacco is less than 21 and the average age of initiating smoking is 17.8years. Tobacco use in girls is also on the rise with 25.8% beginning to use tobacco before they are 15.
Out of 2 crore homeless children in India, 40-70% children come in contact with some or the other form of intoxication. There are many kids falling for some or the other kind of intoxication before the age of 5.
The Minister further adds, "The campaign aims at educating people against the hazards of tobacco that is the root cause of cancer. The government supports this cause. We should actively participate in this noble campaign and contribute in any way possible to bring about the necessary change.
Nearly 23.7% of the deaths among men and 5.7% of the deaths among women aged 35 and 69 years are due to tobacco-attributable illnesses. The incidence of oral cancers was 42% higher among bidi smokers as compared with cigarette smokers.
Other than smoking, Indians use tobacco in other forms including chewable tobacco which is the main cause of oral cancer. India has one of the highest rates of oral cancer in the world, with over 50% attributable to smokeless tobacco use.
Smokeless tobacco use is associated with cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, digestive, respiratory and intrathoracic organs. A study in North India showed a significant association of chewing tobacco and oral cancer with direct relation between quantity and duration of use.
Public health awareness, raising a mass movement against tobacco, sensitizing and educating all health care professionals for tobacco control and cessation does have a role to play in controlling the use of tobacco.
- Gauravi A. Mishra et al., An overview of the tobacco problem in India, Indian J Med Paediatr Oncol (2012)