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Posts Under Tag: Maharashtra

Anti-tobacco groups applaud gutka ban in six states

Six states have banned gutka and other chewable tobacco products. The anti-tobacco lobby is calling it a major victory. While the country is fighting the larger battle to ban gutka, Sarfabad in Uttar Pradesh has become the third village to go tobacco free. The Panchayat there decided to ban gutka after several young people succumbed to critical diseases.

A villager, Sukhbir Singh, said, “There is a Rs 1,000 fine on anyone who sells gutka and a Rs 500 fine on anyone who eats it.”

Almost a year since the new Food Safety law banned foods with tobacco and nicotine content, six states have banned gutka, khaini and pan masala.

Madhya Pradesh took the first step followed by Kerala and Bihar. Maharashtra banned both gutka and pan masala. After Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, Haryana is expected to ban gutka soon and Goa had already banned it under the public health act.

Public health experts say it is a huge health relief, as India battles 80,000 new oral cancer cases every year.

Pankaj Chaturvedi of Tata Memorial Hospital, said, “India is the highest producer of mouth cancers. Apart from that there are several precancerous conditions like Submucous fibrosis in which the mouth of the person doesn’t open.”

Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India said, “It’s not just the nicotine, the heavy metals are particularly dangerous and this has been found to be in high quantities in gutka.”

Till about a year ago, gutka reigned as a Rs 20,000 crore industry. But now the gutka industry is admitting to losses, and argues that gutka should not be considered as food at all.

Sanjay Bechan, Executive Director, Smokeless Tobacco Federation of India, “The industry is deteriorating once the Supreme Court banned packaging. We were reduced to almost 60 per cent of our size and now this ban by states. Since states are banning, we have suffered losses. Gutka is a scheduled tobacco product. So my legal position is very clear, I am not food, I am tobacco. It’s unscientific and undemocratic of the government to ban gutka.”

Yet, 5 million children in India are already addicted to oral tobacco and more than 5,000 start using gutka every day.

Source:

Gutka Ban — Govts of MP, Kerala, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan & Haryana move to save lives

The governments of Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana have taken a laudable step by implementing the ban on Gutka and Pan Masala (with tobacco) under section 2.3.4 of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

These State Governments have shown firm commitment and concern for the health of population. VoTV members (cancer patients) from across India applauded the Governments and appealed to the other states to implement the ban on smokeless tobacco products to save lives from this preventable cause of death.

Ban Orders:

Maharashtra bans sale of gutka & pan masala

Maharashtra State government banned the production, sale, distribution and storage of gutkha and pan masala. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. The ban on gutkha and pan masala will result in revenue loss of Rs 100 crore per year for the State exchequer, but the decision has been taken in larger public interest, Cabinet sources said. Minister for Food & Drug Administration Manohar Naik said that the decision will be announced in the State Legislature on Thursday.

Maharashtra has joined a handful of states, including Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, to ban gutkha, which causes oral diseases and cancers.

The State had imposed a ban on the two products in 2002 as well, but the decision could not pass legal scrutiny. Five years later, in 2007, the State again attempted to ban gutkha, but was thwarted by high court stay orders.

This time around, the ban will be enforced under Section 30 (2) (A) read with regulation 2, 3 and 4 punishable under Section 58 of the Food Safety and Standards Act.

For detailed news, click here

Maharashtra’s Teen cancer victim Roshan Wankhede hails gutka ban

Roshan Wankhede (18) would have passed his HSC exams this year, but for the fact that he had to undergo surgery for removal of nearly half of his upper jaw. Roshan has been suffering from last-stage mouth cancer for over a year.

Roshan was 13 years old when he started chewing tobacco because of peer pressure. A sachet or two occasionally soon turned to seven to eight sachets a day. “I wanted to do what all my friends did. Of the 50 students in our class, 10 used to consume paan masala. It was all for fun,” said the Amravati resident. “My parents didn’t know that I had this habit,” he said.

What started as small ulcers developed into full-fledged cancer on the roof of Roshan’s mouth within months. Local doctors advised him to go to Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai, as they were sure that the problem was more than just ulcers.

For detailed news, click here

For Minister Satish Pednekar & Malegaon-ka-Superman, gutkha ban comes too late

Shaikh Shafique, the 23-year-old factory worker who vowed to end the tobacco menace in the low budget film Malegaon ka Superman that won accolades at film festivals, lost his own battle against oral cancer last year.

Sixty-year-old Congressman Satish Pednekar, who was Maharashtra’s home and labour minister, died of oral cancer last year. He was addicted to mawa, a mix of chewing tobacco and paan masala.

Madhya Pradesh becomes First State in India to Ban Gutka

In Madhya Pradesh 31% of the population consumes smokeless tobacco. Months after the Centre’s new food safety law banned tobacco containing products, the Madhya Pradesh Government has been the first state to implement the ban, starting April 2012. Its mandate is very clear, no sale and no manufacture of any food that contains tobacco.

The Madhya Pradesh government has cancelled the licences of 17 gutka manufacturing units and has confiscated tobacco worth over Rs 1 crore, nearly 30 lakh pouches, including Khaini and Zarda.

The move has spurred other states into action, from Bihar where 49 per cent of the population uses smokeless tobacco to Maharashtra where that figure is 28 per cent. Rajasthan, Karnaktaka, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, all are in talks to soon implement the ban on tobacco food products.

News coverage:

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.

Story of Roshan Wankhede, 17 year-old Gutka Addict & Cancer Survivor

Roshan Wankhede is all of 17 years. He is from a small village in the Amravati district. The family lives on farming; money is difficult to come by. Roshan’s parents are waiting for him to finish his education and start earning so that their monetary problems can be solved. Roshan would have passed his HSC exams next year, but he will not be able to. Doctors say that Roshan is suffering from last-stage mouth cancer and may not live another year.

CMs of 11 States Pledge Support for Banning Gutka, Khaini, Pan Masala etc.

To fight the growing menace of chewing tobacco products, 11 chief ministers have pledged their support to curb this growing menace in their states. Chief Ministers of Assam, Goa, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Gujarat agreed to do on behest of victims of oral cancer, doctors and tobacco control advocates of their states. The victims along with oncologists met their respective Chief Ministers and urged them to protect the people of their states from the harmful effects of tobacco products, implementing stringent pictorial warnings, putting an end to indirect advertising, stopping sale near educational institutions, increasing taxation on all tobacco products. Despite the Supreme Court Order banning plastic gutka pouches, the Gutka, pan masala and other smokeless tobacco products are still widely sold in plastic pouches. The enforcement agencies need to take actions against violators.

The Chief Ministers of these states were prompted into action when approached by doctors and victims of oral cancers, on behalf of Voice of Tobacco Victims in their respective states. All the Chief Ministers assured the victims of their commitment by signing a pledge calling for a ban on tobacco products. The pledge states that “I will raise my voice against this issue and support all initiatives to rid India of this menace and help save millions of Indian lives”.

It is heartening that custodians of health of the state have come out openly against tobacco and have pledged their support for tobacco control. We salute all those CMs who have come out openly and urge those whom we could not reach and those who are still not decided about their stand on this issue, to support this initiative to rid India of this menace.

India has the highest number of oral cancer in the world with 75, 000 to 80, 000 new cases of oral cancers a year. Gutka and other forms of chewing tobacco sold in small pouches across the country has become a very serious health hazard. Since Gutka and Pan Masala are marketed as mouth fresheners, its habit starts at a very young age. Due to its flavoured taste, easy availability and low price, it is popular among children, youth and women. Gutkha use is becoming an alternative choice in India as our social mores do not permit children or women to smoke cigarettes.

A recent report by experts of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) on the harmful effects of gutka informs that the number of Oral Cancer cases in India alone is 86 per cent of the oral cancer figures across the world. What is more shocking, is that the chewing tobacco and gutka contribute to 90 per cent of oral cancer cases in the country. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010) released last year reveals that, 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.

For news coverage:

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
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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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