India - Prime Minister urged to ban sale of smokeless tobacco products


April 13, 2011 - Kolkata (Calcutta), April 12 - 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. (Smokeless tobacco products include gutka, gkhaini and pan masala — all chewing tobacco products.) Related news briefs: April 4-5 Delhi to host national consultation on smokeless tobacco..)

Also, India - main opposition party leader calls for a complete ban on tobacco..

“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. (India - govt releases results of GAT Survey..)

“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.

According to the GATS, 34.6 percent adults consume some form of tobacco in India, 25.9 per cent adults use smokeless tobacco and 14.1 percent 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.

Reference: PM urged to ban sale of tobacco products

India - some related news briefs:
*India - pictorial warnings on tobacco products unclear....:
*India - main opposition party leader calls for a complete ban on tobacco..;
*Mumbai, India - BEST committee to monitor to prevent tobacco advertisement;
*India State of Goa - stop sale of loose cigarettes and raise tobacco taxes..;
*Chandigarh, India - a leader in tobacco control..;
*India - Cancer docs take tobacco battle inside parliament..;
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*India - despite govt ban, sale and advertising of tobacco products is rampant around educational institutions..;
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*India - celebs shy away from endorsing tobacco and liquor..;
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*India - cigarette/bidis companies resume tobacco production..;
*India - will delay for a year the use of scarier pictorial warnings on cigarette and bidi packs..;
*India - cigarettes and bidis manufacturers halt production seek clarification on pictorial health warnings..;
*India - Tobacco Board warns farmers against planting unauthorized crop..;
*India - revised pictorial warnings on tobacco products will be implemented from December 1, 2010..;
*India - captions with pictorial warnings should use local languages..:
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*India - government set to ban foreign direct investment in tobacco..;
*India - despite tobacco control measure in place - tobacco sales increase..;
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*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products effective May 31, 2009..;
*India - pictorial warning on cigarettes and tobacco products will be implemented from May 31 - no doubts about it..;
*India - will pictorial or graphic health warnings be implemented from May 30, 2009..;
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World anti tobacco day May 31, 2010 - Photos Women Smoking in India..



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