After cigarettes, health ministry targets other tobacco
After coming down on smoking, the health ministry is planning measures to curb the use of chewing tobacco – the most widespread form of tobacco use in India – and will soon call a meeting of state ministers to discuss the issue, an official said Monday.
‘Most of our work so far has focused on smoking. The users of smokeless tobacco are usually from the weakest sections of the society, and different approach is needed to reach them,’ he said.
‘We will discuss it with all state governments. Smokeless tobacco is being increasingly used in university campuses and urban areas,’ he said.
According to Public Health Foundation of India president K. Srinath Reddy, the use of smokeless tobacco use is increasing among youth and women.
‘There is a social stigma related to use of cigarettes by women and youth, so they find it convenient to use smokeless tobacco. It also comes in small pouches, which can be easily hidden. Being economic is the factor which makes it popular among the economically weaker sections,’ Reddy said.
According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, out of 35 percent adults using tobacco in India, 26 percent adults use chewing tobacco in some form or another. India has world’s highest incidents of mouth cancer, according to a study by British Journal of Cancer.
Studies have shown that 12.5 percent of all teenagers use tobacco in some form or another. It has been found responsible for 50 percent of all cancers in men and 25 percent of all cancers in women, besides being responsible for 90 percent of all oral cancers, according to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
India has the world’s highest incidence of mouth cancer in the world according to a study by the British Journal of Cancer.
- Tobacco Use Still Huge Worldwide
- Large Cautions on Ads for Smokeless Products
- New tobacco products – Look and taste like candy
- Many Smokers Still Deceived by Cigarette Labeling
- Charlotte is test market for smokeless tobacco lozenges