Tobacco kills 10 lakh Indians every year, here’s how 40 NGOs plan to tackle this
Mumbai city news: As much as 4% of children aged between 13 and 15 smoke cigarettesmumbai Updated: May 31, 2017 17:23 IST
As many as 10 lakh Indians die from tobacco-related diseases each year, said experts from Tata Memorial Centre (TMC), battleground zero in the fight against tobacco. On World No Tobacco Day — May 31 — more than 40 non-government organisations, eminent personalities from various fields and medical experts came together to systematically address the tobacco menace and reduce its consumption in the interest of public welfare.
Studies have shown that 4% of children aged between 13 and 15 smoke cigarettes. As many as 12% consume some form of tobacco.
“Tobacco is one of the major causes of death and disease in India. It kills nearly 0.9 million Indians every year. Tobacco abuse is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases, including cancer, lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Dr Vijay Satbir Singh, additional civil surgeon, public health department.
He added that India is the largest consumer and third-largest producer of tobacco. Here, a plethora of tobacco products are available at low prices. There is an urgent need to bring about change, he said.
In 2011, it cost the country more than Rs1 lakh to treat tobacco-related illnesses in people aged between 35 and 39. Officials said the cost increases each year.
“Tobacco affects the Indian economy greatly owing to increased health care costs and decreased productivity. It worsens health and causes poverty to rise,” said Dr Rajendra Badwe, director, TMC.