Choose Life, Not Tobacco         |         Smoking is a habit that drains your money and kills your slowly, one puff after another….         |         Smoking helps you to relax… in Death-bed         |         Smoking is injurious not only to you, but for the ones around you also… Quit before it’s late         |         Smoking Leaves an Unseen Scar, it fill your Insides with Toxins and Tar         |         Only a fool would put his lips, at the other end of a burning fie.         |         Irony is, Tobacco companies kill their Best Customers.         |         You’re a Fool, if you think smoking is cool.         |         Tar the Roads, not your lungs.         |         Be brighter, put down the lighter.         |         Put the smoke out, before it put you Out.         |         Who’s going to retire on your hard-earned dollars… You or some tobacco company executive?         |         A Friend in Deed won’t make you smoke that weed.         |         Smokers die young, be smart, don’t start.         |         Every time you light up A cigarette, you are saying that your life isn’t worth Living….        |         Don’t let being on a ventilator ultimate become, the reason you eventually quit smoking. Save lungs while you can.         |         If you can’t stop smoking…. Cancer will.         |         Cigarettes are like Squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire.

Category Archives: Bidis

Dr Reddy Inaugurates Tobacco Free Andhra Pradesh Campaign

Dr Reddy organized “Say No to Tobacco Campaign” on 27th May 2012 at Apollo Cancer Hospital, Hyderabad. Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma and actor Bharat Reddy graced the occasion. Several college students, young executives, patients, cancer survivors and oncologists from various hospitals participated in the event. An 8-year-old-boy who was a cancer survivor broke and crushed a big dummy cigarette on stage, and a small girl wore a dress that said “Papa Please don’t Smoke – your Smoking puts mom, you and me at risk”.

Dr Vijay Anand Reddy, Director, Apollo Cancer Hospital said, “Thirty years ago, WHO declared that tobacco was lethal. It is sad that we are still allowing this lethal product to be used freely! We should all join hands to put a stop to tobacco, so that the next generation will not see tobacco in any form in the market!”

Police Commissioner Aunrag Sharma said that despite having been a smoker for 15 years, he had quit completely. He urged all  smokers to immediately quit at one go, instead of trying to do it slowly.

Dr Vijay Anand Reddy and other oncologists urged the Police Commissioner –

  1. To include tobacco control violations as part of the monthly crime report
  2. To designate one senior officer as Nodal Officer for tobacco control in the State
  3. To ensure that there was no sale of tobacco within 100 yards of educational institutes
  4. To ensure that there was no sale of tobacco to minors
  5. To strictly implement no-smoking-policy in public places, especially  cafes

The Police Commissioner promised to implement these.

At the end, actor Bharat Reddy made everyone take a pledge –

  • I will quit smoking and chewing tobacco!
  • I will never ever smoke or chew tobacco!
  • I will never allow anyone around me to smoke or chew tobacco!
  • I will be a brand ambassador for anti tobacco campaign and strive to make my nation tobacco free!

Bihar’s District Education Officers sensitized for Tobacco Free Schools

Voice of Tobacco Victims and Cancer Awareness Society organized a sensitization program on tobacco with the District Education Officers of Bihar on May 8, 2012 in the Secretariat, Patna. The meeting was attended by about 70 people which included the Regional Deputy Directors (RDDs) and District Education Officers (DEOs) of Bihar, Cancer Awareness Society team, Mr. Sanjay Seth (CTFK), Dr. V.P Singh (Cancer Surgeon – VoTV patron), Dr Ahmad Abdul Hai, Surgeon (Hai Medicare & Research Institute) and Ashima Sarin (VoTV).

Shri Dinesh Trivedi’s support to Tobacco Control Groups and Tobacco Victims

Dinesh Trivedi serves as a role model for the policy makers especially the Members of Parliament. Mr Trivedi served as a Minister of State at the Ministry of Health and later became the Minister for Railways. This dead honest, down to earth, people loving and pro-reform minister wanted to modernize Railways and raise its dwindling standards at par with best railways in the world. Rest is known to the world and need not be repeated here. Few people know that he is a champion of tobacco control in India.

Voice of tobacco Victims echo in Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha

Voice of tobacco Victims echo in the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha

Voice of tobacco Victims echo in the Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha

Voice of Tobacco Victims along with Tata Memorial Hospital and Salaam Bombay Foundation conducted a sensitization program in the Maharashtra Assembly. The session was attended by Chief Minister, Deputy CM, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Additional Chief Secretary Health, MOS for Education, MOS for Home, 46 members of the both the houses of Legislative Assembly and 12 senior Bureaucrats.It is for the first time that high level ministers and policymakers humbly decided to occupy the position of audience, allowing public health professionals and tobacco control advocates to lead the assembly session. The topic ‘Ill effects of tobacco consumption and strategies for tobacco-free state of Maharashtra’ was discussed at length.

CNBC Awaaz show on cancer & the million deaths study on April 2, 2012

A program “Maut ka Dhanda- Sarkar Hissedar” was telecasted on April 03, 2012. The premise is cancer deaths caused by tobacco as per Million Death Study results published recently in Lancet paper and the Indian Government’s shareholding in the Indian tobacco Industry. As per the study, the number of oral cancers are more than twice the number of lung cancers in individuals aged 30-69 years, indicating that the range of fatal cancers caused by tobacco in Indians differs substantially from that in high-income countries.

In the programme, Dr. P. C. Gupta, Director, Healis; Mr. Anil Singhvi, Chairman ICAN Investment and Dr. Y. K. Sapru, Chairman, CPAA were the on the panel.

 

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi supports Tobacco Control

Assam_CM_Mr_Tarun_Gogoi_positive_about_tobacco_control

Assam CM Mr Tarun Gogoi positive about tobacco control

Dr A Kataki, Ruchira Neog of Assam Voluntary Health Association and  Neelam Chadha of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on 18th February 2012.

Mr Gogoi assured support in effective implementation of COTPA (The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) and developing a high powered committee in Assam.  The CM is very positive to save children from the tobacco menace by incorporating ill-effects of tobacco in school curriculum.

Tobacco Survivors Walk with Celebs on Cancer Awareness Walk on 4th Feb 2012

Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) members participated in the Cancer Awareness Walk campaign on World Cancer Day – 04 Feb 2012. The events included a 2 km walk which took off from the BMC Club and felicitation of the cancer survivors like Deepak Kumar. VoTV contributed by putting up banners and standees with anti tobacco messages.

Congrats to Censor Board for rising against tobacco glamorization

Tobacco Victims are happy that our Censor Board has decided to implement the new notification to curb the glamorization of tobacco on screen. It is a pleasure to note that Agneepath becomes the first movie that incorporated the new set of requirements.  This movie has broken the box office records despite those scrolls. This only proves that certain Bollywood bigwigs (led by Mahesh Bhatt) have been misguiding the society and the government on this issue. We hope this will serve as a deterrent for glamorizing tobacco.

Katrina Kaif

Katrina Kaif

Source: http://celewalls.com/rockstar-katrina-kaifs-new-look-in-dhunki.walls

When Katrina Kaif takes crores of rupees for advertizing a soap or shampoo, she boosts the sale of those products. It is sad that she does not realize what she does when she puffs a bidi or drinks alcohol on screen!

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi Supports Tobacco Free Educational Institution Campaign

Thanks to efforts of Arzoo Dutta and Dr Amal Kataki, Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi issued a letter supporting the Tobacco Free Educational Institution Campaign. We congratulate the tobacco control community of Assam.

Regional Cancer Center Directors Against Tobacco – Media Coverage

1) The New Indian Express: April 21 – Chennai
Regional cancer centres seek ban on smokeless tobacco
By. C Shivakumar

The Cancer Institute (Women India Association) Chennai has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ban all tobacco-related products from being manufactured or sold in the country.
E Vidhubala, assistant professor and principal investigator, department of psycho-oncology and Tobacco Cessation Centre, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar told City Express that the regional directors of the cancer centres had written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ban the tobacco products, besides raising serious concern over growing Gutka/Pan Masala menace in India. “In the letter, TG Sagar, director, Cancer Institute (WIA), hoped that the government would ban Gutkha and other tobacco products completely instead of being a silent spectator,” she said.
Interestingly, the country had the highest number of oral cancer cases in the world with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancer being reported every year. Chewing tobacco and gutkha contributed to 90 per cent of oral cancer cases in the country, which has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of oral cancer cases in the world sparking off an alarm among the 17 regional cancer centres.
“Easy availability of this mixture of toxic substance, which contains areca nut (supari), slaked lime and certain food additives, in small, affordable pouches in every corner of the country has become a serious health hazard,” said Vidhubala.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010) released in October 2010, nearly one-third of Indian population, including children and youth, were addicted to smokeless tobacco. Depending upon the geographical areas, different names with different combinations of smokeless tobacco were marketed, such as Mawa, Khaini, Gudakhu, panni etc.
Vidhubala said there were 3,095 chemical components in tobacco and among them 28 were proven carcinogens. The major and most abundant group of carcinogens was the Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNA) and N-nitrosoamino acids. The nitrosamine level was directly related to the risk of cancer.
Scientific evidence had established that tobacco chewing caused cancer of the mouth, oesophagus (food pipe), larynx and pharynx (throat), pancreas, stomach, kidney and lung. It can also caused high BP and other life threatening cardiovascular conditions like myocardial ischemia and stroke. The use of smokeless tobacco during pregnancy could cause still-birth, low birth weight, premature delivery, anaemia (to the mother) and several complications during delivery, says Vidhubala

2) Med India, April 14- Online
Government to Impose Countrywide Ban on Smokeless Tobacco Products
By- Trupti Shirole

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 10-15 years 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
http://www.medindia.net/news/Government-to-Impose-Countywide-Ban-on-Smokeless-Tobacco-Products-83605-1.htm

3) The Indian Express, April 13 – Ahmadabad
Gutkha behind most oral cancer cases in Gujarat: GCRI
With the Supreme Court likely to hear a petition on the ban of plastic pouches for gutkha on Wednesday, the regional cancer centre in Gujarat has sought to draw attention to the harmful effects of tobacco.
This assumes significance as, according to the Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute (GCRI), the number of oral cancer patients remains the highest among other cancer cases reported at the institute every year.
GCRI director Dr Shilin Shukla said that of the 18,000-odd cancer patients detected by the institute annually, nearly 40 per cent are found to have cancer due to eating gutkha and other smokeless tobacco products. “We understand Gujarat is the state with the highest, or at least one of the highest rates of such cancers in the world,” he said, explaining this might be so because of the “culturally accepted” consumption of tobacco.
Smoking, he said, had much less effect as it is not as widespread.
“Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive,” said a GCRI release, adding the having such tobacco during pregnancy can cause still birth, low birth weight, premature delivery, anaemia and several complications during delivery.
Dr Shukla’s predecessor, Dr Pankaj M Shah, had even written to the Prime Minister’s Office in January to highlight the medical situation arising out of smokeless tobacco consumption in the state. The letter was one of the 16 such letters written by the directors of all 16 regional cancer centres across the country demanding a ban on smokeless tobacco products.
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/gutkha-behind-most-oral-cancer-cases-in-gujarat-gcri/775541/

4) NewKerala: April12 – Online
PM gets letters to weed out oral cancer

In a joint move to check the use of ubiquitous pan masala and the resultant oral-cancer, the director of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), Kolkata, and 16 other directors of regional cancer centres in India have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ban smokeless tobacco products.

On an average, annually more than 1,000 new patients suffering from oro-pharyngeal cancer (a form of oral- cancer), many of which are related to gutka use, are registered at CNCI.

It is observed that magnitude of tobacco related cancer in average is on an upward trend in eastern and north eastern India.

This is largely due to high prevalence of tobacco consumption. India has the highest number of oral cancer in the world with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancers being reported every year and chewing tobacco and gutka contribute to 90 percent of oral cancer cases in the country.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010) released in Oct., 2010 nearly one third of Indian population is addicted to smokeless tobacco.

A large number of children and youth in India are addicted to smokeless tobacco. These preparations essentially have tobacco with or without supari and are well proven to be harmful for health.

Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Scientific evidence has established that tobacco chewing causes cancer of mouth, oesophagus (food pipe), larynx and pharynx (throat), pancreas, stomach, kidney and lung.

It can also cause high blood pressure and other life-threatening cardiovascular conditions like myocardial ischemia, stroke etc.
http://www.newkerala.com/news/world/fullnews-188217.html

5) The Hindu Business Line: April 12 – Online
PM urged to ban sale of tobacco products

By: Carried by PTI

Seventeen regional cancer centres in India have urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to ban the sale of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala in the country.

“India has the highest number of oral cancer cases in the world with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases being reported every year and chewing of tobacco and gutka contribute to 90 per cent of oral cancer in the country,” Mr. Jaydip Biswas, Director, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI), said here.

He said the 17 regional cancer centres, including CNCI, had decided to join hands to fight the menace and urged the Prime Minister in this regard.

In a communication to the Prime Minister, the regional cancer centre directors said that easy availability of the mixture of toxic substances, which contain areca nut (supari), slaked lime and certain food additives, in small affordable pouches in every nook and corner of the country, has become a serious health hazard.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2010, nearly one-third of Indian population is addicted to smokeless tobacco.

“A large number of children and youth in India are addicted to smokeless tobacco, which contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. There are 3,095 chemical components in tobacco, among them 28 are proven carcinogen,” Mr Biswas said.

The major and most abundant group of carcinogens is the tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines and N-nitrosoamino acid.

According to the GATS, 34.6 per cent adults consume some form of tobacco in India, 25.9 per cent adults use smokeless tobacco and 14.1 per cent of youth in India between 13-15 years of age currently use any form of tobacco products.

The survey said that about two in three adults notice advertisements on promotions of tobacco products. Three in five current tobacco users (61.1 per cent) notice the health warning on tobacco product packages and one in three current tobacco users (31.5 per cent) thought of quitting because of the warning label.

The CNCI director said the magnitude of tobacco-related cancer, on an average, was on an upward trend in eastern and north-eastern India.

“This is largely due to high prevalence of tobacco consumption,” he said, adding that there was not much control on production and sale of gutka which is sold everywhere.

The director said that to combat such a dreadful situation, a strong campaign was required to be launched to regulate production, sale and use of gutka and pan masala in greater public interest

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/economy/article1690697.ece

6) The Hindu: April 12 – New Delhi
Ban sale of smokeless tobacco, Manmohan urged

Directors of 17 regional cancer centres in the country have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to bring in a ban on smokeless tobacco products, including gutka and pan masala. India has the highest number of oral cancer patients in the world.
According to a press release issued by the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) here, one of those to have written to Dr. Singh, between 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancer are reported every year, a figure to which tobacco-chewing contributes 90 per cent.

“The easy availability of this mixture of toxic substances, including the areca nut (supari), slaked lime and certain food additives, in small affordable pouches in every nook and corner of the country has become a serious health hazard,” the release said. Different combinations of the product — mawa, khaini, gudakhu and panni — were available in different regions.

YOUTH TARGETED

CNCI director Jaydip Biswas said the tobacco industry had been targeting the youth by selling tobacco products outside schools and colleges, distributing free samples and getting endorsements from film stars.

He said more than 1,000 new cases of patients suffering oropharyngeal cancer — many caused by chewing gutka — were reported at the institute annually, and the number of users showed an upward trend.
http://www.thehindu.com/health/policy-and-issues/article1691864.ece

7) Expressbuzz: April 7- Online
RCC directors call for ban on smokeless tobacco

The Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) director Dr Paul Sebastian, along with his counterparts in 17 other Regional Cancer Centres, has called for a total ban on smokeless tobacco products such as gutka and pan masala, which contribute in a huge way to causing oral cancer. While the country has the highest number of oral cancer patients in the world with nearly a lakh new cases being reported every year, studies have found that chewing tobacco and gutka caused almost 90 percent of the oral cancer.

Scientific evidence has also established that tobacco chewing causes cancer of mouth, oesophagus, larynx and pharynx, pancreas, stomach, kidney and lung.

”It is in this background that we, the directors of all 17 regional cancer centres, decided to join hands to fight the gutka menace. We have written letters to the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and over 40 Parliament members, appealing for a ban on the sale of pan masala like products in the country,” said RCC director Dr Paul Sebastian.

Smokeless tobacco such as gutka and pan masala products with commercial names such as shambu, chaini khaini, ganesh, cool lip and so on have in its fold nearly a third of the Indian population addicted to it, including schoolchildren, says a report of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010). The small and inexpensive pouches of pan masala are sold without restriction at every nook and corner of the country and are easily available to the youth and even small children. In fact, the health specialists have long argued that the tobacco industry had been targeting youth and children by selling tobacco products outside schools and colleges, distributing free samples and even getting film stars to endorse these products. All these preparations of smokeless tobacco have been proven to be harmful to life. The use of smokeless tobacco during pregnancy can cause still birth, low birth weight, premature delivery, anaemia of mother and several complications during delivery. Smokeless tobacco also contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. Apart from the tobacco component, these pouches have a mixture that is concoction of toxic substances containing even slaked lime and food additives.

Scientists have identified as many as 28 components in tobacco, which have been proved to cause cancer, majority of them belonging to the group of tobacco specific Nnitrosamines and Nitrosoamino acids.

The GATS survey had found that more than a quarter of adults in India use smokeless tobacco and what is worse is that over sixty percent among the daily tobacco users consume tobacco within an hour of waking up. ”We have raised serious concern over the growing gutka, pan masala menace in the country and have urged the Government of India to show some urgency in addressing the issue,” said Dr Paul Sebastian.

It may be recalled that Opposition Leader Sushma Swaraj, in the recently concluded Parliament session, raised the need for implementing effective tobacco control measures in the country.
http://expressbuzz.com/states/kerala/rcc-directors-call-for-ban-on-smokeless-tobacco/263291.html

8) The Hindu: April 6 – Online
Directors of cancer centers seek ban on smokeless tobacco

The directors of 17 regional cancer centers in the country and the Director of Tata Memorial Centre, a cancer hospital in Mumbai, have joined hands to appeal for a ban on the sale of smokeless and chewable tobacco products, such as ‘Gutkha’ and ‘pan masala,’ in the country.

Given the huge burden of oral and head-and-neck cancers in the State and elsewhere in the country, the government needs to show some urgency in addressing this issue, Paul Sebastian, Director of the Thiruvananthapuram centre, said in a statement here.

The appeal has been addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Union Health Ministry and nearly 40 MPs, Dr. Sebastian said.

India has the highest number of oral-cancer patients in the world, with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases being reported annually. Chewing tobacco products, such as ‘gutkha,’ contribute to nearly 90 per cent of these cancers. The easy availability of these mixtures, which contains areca nut or supari , slaked lime and certain food additives and flavourings, in small pouches and at affordable rates in every nook and corner of the country is posing a grave health hazard to the younger generation, the experts have pointed out.

The Global Adults Tobacco Survey released in October 2010 says nearly one-third of the Indian population, especially children and youth, is addicted to smokeless tobacco. The combinations of smokeless tobacco are sold in different names, such as ‘Mawa,’ ‘Khaini,’ ‘Gudakhu,’ and ‘Panni,’ but all of these contain tobacco with or without supari and are harmful to health. Some of these products are often marketed in the guise of mouth fresheners.

There are 3,095 chemical components in tobacco, out of which 28 are proven carcinogens. The tobacco industry has been targeting youth and children by distributing free samples of chewing tobacco and through attractive advertisements.
http://www.hindu.com/2011/04/06/stories/2011040661460300.htm

9) IBN Live
http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/sc-concerned-over-rising-death-due-to-tobaccoinduced-cancer/647393.html

SC concerned over rising death due to tobacco-induced cancer
PTI | 09:04 PM,Apr 13,2011
New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) The Supreme Court today expressed concern over growing number of deaths, especially in rural areas, due to cancer caused by chewing tobacco. A bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan expressed the concern while hearing the issue of sale of gutka and other tobacco products like and pan masala in plastic sachets which the government has banned since March 1 this year on the court”s directive. While expressing concern over rising cancer deaths in rural areas, the court said it will begin hearing the issue on a regular basis from July 20 when it would hear all stakeholders in the sector, including the tobacco manufacturers and civil societies. “We have read newspaper reports of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute (CNCI) which said that 75,000 to 80,000 cases of oral cancer are reported every year and most of these are due to tobacco-chewing,” the bench said. CNCI has written a letter to the Prime Minister requesting a ban on tobacco products like gutka and pan masala in the country. The institute has said easy availability of the mixture of toxic substances, which contain areca nut (supari), slaked lime and certain food additives, in small affordable pouches in every nook and corner of the country has become a serious health hazard.

10) Governance Now

http://www.governancenow.com/news/regular-story/gutka-ban-cancer-centre-heads-write-pm

Gutka ban: Cancer centre heads write to PM
Medicos call for total ban on the smokeless tobacco products rather than just their packaging material
SONAL MATHARU | NEW DELHI | APRIL 12 2011
Author Profile

SONAL MATHARU
Sonal reports on health issues for Governance Now
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To put pressure on the government prior to the supreme court hearing on the ban on plastic sachets of smokeless tobacco packets on Wednesday, directors of 16 regional cancer centres in India wrote letters individually to prime minister Manmohan Singh urging him to ban the sale and manufacturing of these products and not just the packing material.

A copy of the letters was also mailed to health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad where the directors indicate a change in trend observed over the decades as the number of mouth cancers caused due to consumption of gutka and pan masala have risen sharply all over the country.

“Oral cancer has now become more prominent with the extensive use of smokeless tobacco. Earlier more cases were recorded of throat and lung cancer due to smoking, now we see people between 20 to 40 years old suffering from mouth cancer,” said Dr Pankaj M Shah, honoraray director, Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute.

Dr Rajendra A Badwe, director, Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, writes in his letter that pan masala has supari in it which is an addictive substance and has cancer causing properties. “Since pan masala and gutka are marketed as mouth fresheners, its habit starts at a very young age. If we need to reduce the oral cancer burden in india, we need to control the rampant habit of tobacco and areca nut chewing,” he wrote in his letter.

A senior official from the health ministry said that the letters ministry received were part of the response filed in the court for banning plastic sachets for smokeless tobacco products. The supreme court banned the sale of chewing tobacco in plastic sachets from March 2011. A bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly gave the direction while hearing petitions filed by tobacco manufacturers challenging Rajasthan high court’s order on such a ban in the state. While hearing the case, the court asked the health ministry to file a report on the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco products.

“The ministry had a consultation with the stakeholders earlier this month and banning smokeless tobacco products was considered, but right now we cannot say if this step would be immediately taken,” the official added.

As per the health ministry, one-third Indians consume smokeless tobacco. Chewing gutka also leads to a precancerous condition called oral sub mucous fibrosis where the muscles in the mouth lose their ability to stretch.

“Not only men, but school children and housewives are also addicted to chewing tobacco products. Many people keep gutka it their mouth even while sleeping, so this is worse than smoking a cigarette,” said Dr R K Chaudhary, director, Acharya Tulsi Regional Cancer Treatment and Research Institute, Bikaner, Rajasthan.

“Our government is spending huge amount of money on cancer control programme and on the other hand we are not removing the root causes of cancers, that is, tobacco and gutka which are known causes of cancer development,” Chaudhary wrote in his letter.

Tobacco is the single most important risk factor for cancer, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases. Tobacco prevalence is very high in the north eastern region as a result, 55 to 60 percent of all cancers in the region are tobacco related.

As per global school personnel survey 2006, 34.3 percent children between 13 to 15 years consume tobaco in the north eastern region. Tobacco products are distributed free in and around educational institutions, hospitals and hospital premises, wrote Dr A C Kataki, director, Dr Bhubaneshwar Borooah Cancer Institute, Guwahati, Assam.

“In the city of Guwahati alone, gutka worth Rs 12 lakh is sold everyday. 6.5 lakh sachets of gutka and 3.2 lakh packets of cigarettes are sold everyday in Assam,” Kataki added.
Dr Gautam Majumdar, medical superintendent, Regional Cancer Centre, Agartala, Tripura wrote that with the “look East” project of the government, cheap gutka packets are now easily available in the state and tobacco consumption has doubled recently.

Agreeing that the next best option to a ban is raising taxes on the products, the ministry official said, “If not a ban, then taxing tobacco products is seen as a best practice. Reports have shown that an increase in taxes reduces consumption but right now, only cigarettes come under the tax bracket and not locally produced smokeless forms of tobacco. These are still sold too cheap. Like few states, the centre could also take the step of imposing higher taxes on chewing tobacco.”

Related story
Plastic packaging of gutka-manufacturers, NGO’s jump in fray

Refusing to lift the ban on sale of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets, a bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan allowed all impleadment applications of various stakeholders, saying the court will hear all their concerns.

The Supreme Court today allowed several civil societies and manufacturers of non-smoking, chewing tobacco products including gutka to become a party to the hearing of a plea against their sale in plastic sachets.

Refusing to lift the ban on sale of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala in plastic sachets, a bench of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan allowed all impleadment applications of various stakeholders, saying the court will hear all their concerns.

The bench also directed solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam to file the government’s reply to issues raised by the stakeholders within four weeks.

Gutka manufacturers and NGO’s will have to subsequently file their replies to the government’s submission in another four weeks.

The bench also directed the government to make available to concerned parties within two weeks the copies of the report dated February 17, 2011 on use of tobacco.

The court will start its hearing from July 20 and said there would be no adjournments in the case.

Earlier the government had notified the law banning plastic packaging of non-smoking tobacco products on February 4 after the bench had rebuked it on February 2 for not implementing the law and asked it to notify the same within two days.

Endorsing the Rajasthan High Court order, the bench had on December 7 last restrained gutka, pan masala and chewing tobacco manufacturers from using plastic as packaging material for their products from March 1 this year.

It had also ordered the government to entrust an independent agency with the task of testing the contents of these sachets to evaluate the risk they pose to consumers.

11) Express
http://expressbuzz.com/cities/chennai/cancer-centres-seek-ban-on-smokeless-tobacco/267045.html
Cancer centres seek ban on smokeless tobacco

C Shivakumar
Express News Service
First Published : 20 Apr 2011 10:55:00 PM IST
Last Updated : 20 Apr 2011 08:53:17 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Cancer Institute (Women India Association) Chennai has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ban all tobacco-related products from being manufactured or sold in the country.
E Vidhubala, assistant professor and principal investigator, department of psycho-oncology and Tobacco Cessation Centre, Cancer Institute (WIA), Adyar told City Express that the regional directors of the cancer centres had written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ban the tobacco products, besides raising serious concern over growing Gutka/Pan Masala menace in India. “In the letter, TG Sagar, director, Cancer Institute (WIA), hoped that the government would ban Gutkha and other tobacco products completely instead of being a silent spectator,” she said.
Interestingly, the country had the highest number of oral cancer cases in the world with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancer being reported every year. Chewing tobacco and gutkha contributed to 90 per cent of oral cancer cases in the country, which has the dubious distinction of having the largest number of oral cancer cases in the world sparking off an alarm among the 17 regional cancer centres.
“Easy availability of this mixture of toxic substance, which contains areca nut (supari), slaked lime and certain food additives, in small, affordable pouches in every corner of the country has become a serious health hazard,” said Vidhubala.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010) released in October 2010, nearly one-third of Indian population, including children and youth, were addicted to smokeless tobacco. Depending upon the geographical areas, different names with different combinations of smokeless tobacco were marketed, such as Mawa, Khaini, Gudakhu, panni etc.
Vidhubala said there were 3,095 chemical components in tobacco and among them 28 were proven carcinogens. The major and most abundant group of carcinogens was the Tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNA) and N-nitrosoamino acids. The nitrosamine level was directly related to the risk of cancer.
Scientific evidence had established that tobacco chewing caused cancer of the mouth, oesophagus (food pipe), larynx and pharynx (throat), pancreas, stomach, kidney and lung. It can also caused high BP and other life threatening cardiovascular conditions like myocardial ischemia and stroke. The use of smokeless tobacco during pregnancy could cause still-birth, low birth weight, premature delivery, anaemia (to the mother) and several complications during delivery, says Vidhubala.

Press Release

Regional Cancer Centre Directors Join Hands To Appeal for Ban on Sale of Gutka/Pan Masala

The Directors of 17 Regional Cancer Centres in India, including the Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), have written letters to the Honorable Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh to ban smokeless tobacco products. In letters to him and the health ministry, all of them have raised serious concern over growing Gutka/Pan Masala menace in India and have urged the Government of India to show some urgency in addressing disaster.

India has the highest number of oral cancer in the world with 75, 000 to 80, 000 new cases of oral cancers being reported every year. And chewing tobacco and gutka contribute to 90 per cent of oral cancer cases in the country. Easy availability of this mixture of toxic substance which contains areca nut (supari), slaked lime and certain food additives, in small, affordable pouches in every nook and corner of the country has become a serious health hazard.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010) released in Oct 2010, nearly one third of Indian population is addicted to smokeless tobacco. A large number of children and youth in India are addicted to smokeless tobacco. Depending upon the geographical areas, different names with different combinations of smokeless tobacco are marketed, such as Mawa, Khaini, Gudakhu, panni etc. All these preparations essentially have tobacco with our without supari and are well proven to be harmful for health.

Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. There are 3095 chemical components in tobacco, among them 28 are proven carcinogen. The major and most abundant group of carcinogens is the tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNA) and N-nitrosoamino acids. The nitrosamine level is directly related to the risk of cancer. Scientific evidence has established that tobacco chewing causes cancer of mouth, oesophagus (food pipe), larynx and pharynx (throat), pancreas, stomach, kidney and lung. It can also cause high blood pressure and other life threatening cardiovascular conditions like myocardial ischemia, stroke etc.The use of smokeless tobacco during pregnancy can cause still birth, low birth weight, premature delivery, anaemia of mother and several complications during delivery.

The tobacco industry has been targeting youth and children by selling tobacco products outside schools and colleges, distributing free samples and getting film stars to endorse these killer products through attractive advertisements on TV, radio, newspapers, billboards and buses.

Action Council Against Tobacco (ACT India), Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, Salaam Bombay Foundation and Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) also facilitated an event in Delhi conceptualized by cancer victims who gathered together to promote greater awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco use. These victims and their families shared their stories and experiences as well as voiced their appeal for stronger enforcement of tobacco control laws and presented a charter of demands to Ms Sushma Swaraj, leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal and Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Shri Dinesh Trivedi and over 40 MPs. Ms Swaraj, in the recently concluded parliamentary session, raised the need for implementing effective tobacco control measures in the country to save 1 millions that are lost annually in India due to tobacco related diseases

Global Adult Tobacco Survey, (GATS-India) Highlights:
• 34.6% adults (47.9% males and 20.3% females) currently some form of tobacco in India.
• 25.9% adults (32.9% males and 18.4 % females) in India use smokeless tobacco.
• Among daily tobacco users, 60.2% consume tobacco within half an hour of waking up.
• 14.1% of youth in India between the ages 13-15 years currently use any tobacco products.
• 11.9% of youth in India between the ages 13-15 currently use tobacco products other than cigarettes.

• 5500 children and adolescents start using tobacco products daily.

• About two in three adults (64.5%) noticed advertisements or promotions of tobacco products.

• Three in five current tobacco users (61.1%) noticed the health warning on tobacco product packages and one in three current tobacco users (31.5%) thought of quitting because of the warning label.

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