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.

Posts Under Tag: Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi

Jammu & Kashmir MLAs Sensitized to Tobacco & Gutka

Voluntary Health Association in collaboration with Voice of Tobacco Victims organized an MLA sensitization program in Srinagar on July 18, 2012. Hon’ble Chief Minister and the Speaker chaired the session and there were 40 legislative members. Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Oncologist from Tata Memorial Hospital, conducted a VoTV event. Seema Gupta from Voluntary Health Association of India gave presentation on issues of tobacco in J&K. The CM and Speaker assured support for tobacco control and to save lives in J&K.

Tobacco industry is deliberately targeting school children

As Maharashtra struggles to curb the sale of tobacco products near schools, surveys done by the NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation throw up some disturbing statistics. 1 in 4 children at Mumbai’s municipal schools use some form of tobacco. Another survey of 200 schools, finds 61 per cent of them have tobacco shops within 100 yards of their premises. This is despite the BMC banning such sales two months ago and is in clear violation of the law. According to the latest Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), 5 million children in India under the age of 18 use some form of tobacco products.

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Oncology Surgeon, Tata Memorial Hospital, says, “It is known that tobacco addiction starts at the age of 12 years and 80 per cent of the pan shops in India are near schools and colleges as they know if they can influence children then they would be catering to a huge market.”

Gutka has 7% magnesium carbonate — a cancer-agent normally used in Fire Extinguishers

Gutka packets on average contain seven per cent magnesium carbonate, which is a chemical used in fire extinguishers, according to The Food And Drug Administration. The news is alarming as 206 million Indians use some form of smokeless tobacco.

World Health Organisation estimates that 26 per cent of adults in India, use some form of smokeless tobacco and 40 per cent of them die because of this addiction.

MLA Sensitization program at Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, Bhopal

Dr. Lalit Shrivastava with support of Dr. RK Panday organized an MLA Sensitization Program at Vidhan Sabha in Bhopal on March 13, 2012. A total gathering of around 410 people included MLAs, Cabinet Ministers, Secretaries, Health Officers, Social workers, media and foreign dignitaries.  Support for tobacco control was pledged by this huge gathering.

Sensitization program in Assembly at Vidhan Sabha in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Sensitization program in Assembly at Vidhan Sabha in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

VoTV team meets US Health Secy Kathleen Sebelius

VoTV members got an opportunity to interact with Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services on 16th January, 2012. She was heading a entourage consisting of Director, Global Health/CDC; Associate Director of International Research/NIH; Consul General, Health attache and several other dignitaries. Four VoTV members presented their views to the visiting team with their typical passion.

Souvenir which potrays Mr Obama as an anti-tobacco man

Souvenir which potrays Mr Obama as an anti-tobacco man

Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan appeals for Tobacco Free School & Colleges

VoTV patrons met Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on 28th November, 2011 and shared with him the grim scenario of tobacco usage and related illnesses in Maharashtra. Dr Rajendra A Badwe, Director, Tata Memorial Hospital urged the Chief Minister to act against the rampant violation of Section 6 of COTPA (prohibition of sale to Minors and within 100 yards of educational institutions). Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi and Ms Devika Chadha expressed their views on this serious public health problem.

Should Life Insurance Corporation invest Public Money in tobacco companies?

Should government-run companies invest in tobacco firms? This is the question that Voices of Tobacco Victims (VoTV), a campaign for cancer patients, has raised after its recent query under the RTI Act revealed that the Life Insurance Corporation of India has invested up to Rs 3,500 crore in various tobacco companies.

“It’s the greatest irony that the government spends Rs 10,000 crore on treatment of tobacco-related illnesses while investing Rs 3,500 crore in the industry causing it,” said Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, a senior cancer surgeon with Tata Memorial Hospital who is associated with VoTV.

On Thursday, VoTV circulated copies of the RTI reply from LIC dated July 15. LIC has mentioned that it has equity shares in tobacco major ITC Ltd worth Rs 3,561 crore, debentures worth Rs 50 crore in Dharampal Satyapal Ltd and equity shares in VST worth Rs 15.65 lakh.

VoTV wants the government to take an anti-tobacco stance especially since it was among the first to ratify the global anti-tobacco framework. The framework was worked out by the UN after it was medically established that tobacco products are harmful and could cause cancer.

Victims Declare India’s very own No Tobacco Day

On 11th February, 2011 Action Council Against Tobacco (ACT India), Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, Salaam Bombay Foundation and Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), facilitated Voices of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) a program conceptualized by cancer victims who gathered together from across the country, to promote greater awareness about the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco use. These victims and their families shared their stories and experiences of trauma, pain and suffering as well as voiced their appeal for stronger enforcement of tobacco control laws. The victims and their families, while sharing their painful experiences appealed to the guests to “let not what has happened to us, happen to any more people.” All of them urged the government to take stringent actions against gutka and other forms of smokeless tobacco and expressed their solidarity in the fight to save others from the menace of gutka.
The event was well attended by policy makers, tobacco control advocates; cancer support groups, media and dignitaries like Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal, Union Coal Minister and Shri Dinesh Trivedi, State Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Shri K.Desiraju, Addl. Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Other key participants were Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi Associate Professor, Head and Neck Department Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and Dr. Justice K. Narayana Kurup (Formerly Judge, High Court of Kerala and Ag. Chief Justice, High Court of Madras).
Dr Chaturvedi suggested the need for a dedicated day, just like World No Tobacco Day on 31st May, when Indians can raise their voice against Gutka/Pan Masala. Buoyed by Dr Chaturvedi’s suggestion, the patients decided to declare 11th February as India’s No Tobacco Day. This declaration was supported by none other than Sri Prakash Jaiswal who announced to host next No Tobacco Day in Kanpur. He invited the group to organize a similar event in his home town of Kanpur and offered to take a personal interest in ensuring Kanpur Gutkha Free from that date onwards. The decision was supported by Shri Dinesh Trivedi , Minister of Health for State  and Shri K. Desiraju, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The media reported this declaration  widely. Visit the link to read the media coverage

How Voice Of Tobacco Victims (VOTV) was Born on 31st May 2008

“Voice Of Tobacco Victims” is the brainchild of Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Associate Professor, Tata Memorial Hospital. He always wondered how a cancer causing substance, that kills millions every year, be sold so freely and advertized so brazenly. He was disturbed by the sight of ever increasing number of young cancer patients visiting his cancer clinic every day. Most of them, owing to advanced stage, died within 5 years of diagnosis. Those who survived, lived with severe depression, dejection, disfigurement and disability.

Rather than being a silent witness of a crime and wait for someone else to find a solution, he decided to spend some time in tobacco control activities. He planned to make tobacco victims as the public face of the war on tobacco. He decided to help tobacco victims get justice and help them raise a war cry against the very industry that they patronized for decades. He envisaged that no one can withstand this formidable force that is driven by pure passion. His idea was supported by Dr PC Gupta and Dr Surendra Shastri of Action Council Against Tobacco India. Finally, this experiment began on 31st May, 2008 with a small group of 10 cancer patients of Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi. The experiment proved immensely successful… these cancer patients shocked the media and audience with their grit and determination. They have only one aim for their countrymen “ This is what tobacco did to us, we want to save others!”

1.    The first meeting of VoTV happened on 31st May 2009 in Tata Memorial Hospital. The impact of this meeting could be gauged from the fact that it was covered by 36 news papers including the most popular one. For more details

2.    Inspired after the meeting, one of the members filed a compensation Suit against formidable Indian Tobacco Company (originally BAT) for 10 million rupees. He is a larynx cancer patient whom I treated 2 years back. Despite ITC’s powerful legal team, the case did not get rejected. Several other members have filed for compensation in local consumer redressal forums  all over the country.
Mumbai Mirror Link 01

Mumbai Mirror Link 02

Mumbai Mirror Link 03

3.    In September, 2010 during National Congress on Tobacco & Health at Mumbai, the VoTV members cornered the Health Minister and presented them a Charter of Demands and a huge canvas with more than thousand signatures. This event was published in 16 news papers including the prominent ones.  See the news coverage

4.    Many members have started their own mini campaigns at village levels and district level with their own innovative ideas which has given it as shape of nationwide campaign with great media coverage. See the news coverage

5.    VoTV members, wrote letters to celebs who endorse Tobacco product. Such letters from cancer patients has led to a sharp decline in celeb endorsement. One such example is – Sanjay Dutt says no to gutka, tobacco endorsements

6.    VoTV members condemned the senior politicians who represent Tobacco Industry as advocates – See the news coverage

7.    VoTV members worked with the media to condemn the government for delay in pictorial warning and their views got published in several news papers See the news coverage

8.    VoTV members condemned the government for offering top government honor to the Chairman of Indian Tobacco Company – See the news coverage

9.    Shri Devendra Singh, a VoTV member, spearheaded a campaign where Tobacco Victims participated in anti-corruption campaign in New Delhi. This got a huge media coverage. – See the news coverage
For more news coverage –
See the news coverage Link 01
See the news coverage Link 02
See the news coverage Link 03

10.    VoTV members partcipated in a unique campaign along with Directors of the Regional cancer centers in several states of India on 31st May, 2011. These Directors are opinion leaders of oncology in India. Seventeen such Directors wrote letters to the Prime Minister and Health minister to ban Gutka and Pan Masala in India. This campaign had a dramatic impact on Media and Society at large. This activity was covered by 27 leading news papers of different states. One such coverage

11.     With World Lung foundation VoTV members developed a powerful Television campaign on smokeless tobacco showing a 24 years boy who died of throat cancer while the campaign was still running – See the news coverage

12.    VoTV members also consented to participate in a hugely popular online campaign, with World Lung Foundation and several other NGOs, against smokeless tobacco – See the news coverage

13.    Three of the VoTV members are also volunteered to become interventions in the ongoing Supreme Court Case against Gutka/Pan Masala. See the news coverage

14.    Most of the VoTV members have emerged as strong health advocates in their local community educating people about early signs of cancer, diagnosis, treatment etc.

15.    They have been participating in most of the tobacco control meetings as important stakeholders. For example, VoTV members attended the music release of Shaan at Tata Memorial Hospital – See the news coverage

16.    VoTV members have also been participating alongside doctors in BBC world service media workshops. It is noticeable that their presence offers an additional impact to media coverage.

17.    Lobbying with Members of Parliament and the policy makers – On, 11th February and 17th March, the VOTV members held a meeting in New Delhi which turned out to be the “mother of all meeting”. They shared their plight with Ministers, Bureaucrats, media, public in a very emotional way. These meetings not only sensitized the media and policy makers but also sensationalized the issue of smokeless tobacco. The media response was beyond expectations.

 

To know more about the activity on 11th February, 2011
To know more about the acticity on 17th March 2011

Victims of Tobacco & Gutka speak out at Delhi on 11th Feb 2011

An event conceived by Voice of Tobacco Victims, hosted by ACT India, Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health,
Salaam Bombay Foundation and Voluntary Health Association of India

Date: 11th February, 2011
Venue: Constitutional Club Rafi Marg, New Delhi

Action Council Against Tobacco (ACT India), Healis-Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, Salaam Bombay Foundation and Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), facilitated Voices of Victims (VoV) a program conceptualized by cancer victims who gathered together from across the country, to promote greater awareness about the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco use. These victims and their families shared their stories and experiences of trauma, pain and suffering as well as voiced their appeal for stronger enforcement of tobacco control laws.

Testimonies from Ashish Kumar Jain, about surviving with half a jaw; from Prof Bhaduria on talking through a voice box; from Mrs Dubey about the challenges in coping with the expenses of her husband’s treatment and daughter’s education and marriage;  from 34 old Sachin coming to terms with his half jaw; along with numerous others, overwhelmed the audience. The victims and their families, while sharing their painful experiences appealed to the guests to “let not what has happened to us, happen to any more people.” All of them urged the government to take stringent actions against gutka and other forms of smokeless tobacco and expressed their solidarity in the fight to save others from the menace of gutka.

The event was well attended by policy makers, tobacco control advocates; cancer support groups, media and dignitaries like Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal, Union Coal Minister and Shri Dinesh Trivedi, State Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Shri K.Desiraju, Addl. Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Other key participants were Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi Associate Professor, Head and Neck Department Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai and Dr. Justice K. Narayana Kurup (Formerly Judge, High Court of Kerala and Ag. Chief Justice, High Court of Madras).

Shri K. Desiraju, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare dwelt upon many acts and legislations that have been passed in the parliament to curb this menace. And stressed the importance of successful implementation of the legislation.

Moved by the experience, Sri Prakash Jaiswal, invited the group to organize a similar event in his home town of Kanpur and offered to take a personal interest in ensuring Kanpur Gutkha Free from that date onwards.

Shri Dinesh Trivedi highlighted that the revenue generated by the tobacco industry was much less than the money spent on health care treatment. He shared the letter he had written to Shri Sharad Pawar, enquiring about the efforts of the ministry on the ban of tobacco growing and alternative crops and alternative livelihoods for tobacco farmers. He also offered to write to the I &B ministry to look into banning of surrogate advertising of tobacco products.

The event also had presentations from Mr Virendra Singh (Advisor, Indian Asthama Care Society) on emerging trends in tobacco consumption; from Dr. Justice K Narayan Kurup on the legal and judicial aspects of the gutka issue.

A panel discussion and media interaction was also held wherein the media interacted with Mr Jaiswal, Dr Virendra Singh, Dr P C Gupta and Dr  Pankaj Chaturvedi amongst others .

A total of 43 media persons from both print and electronic media were present at the programme and gave extensive coverage to the event.

VoTV evoked strong support from all those present and resulted in many wet eyes and choked throats.

Links to some news stories:
Voices of Victims”  on 11 Feb: News X news channel:

VOTV on 16th February on Doordarshan (National)

Here

Click here for Agenda

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Sambandh Health Foundation, 1st Floor, Polyclinic, Near Rishi Public School, Sector 31, Gurugram 122001