NoidaOn the eve of World No Tobacco Day, Noida residents took a pledge to remove the stains of tobacco from their lives and surroundings.Citizens, autorickshaw drivers, police, health department, doctors and district administration stressed on the need to quit the usage of tobacco in the form of cigarettes, bidis and paan masala and discourage the youth from giving into peer pressure.On Tuesday morning, dozens of autorickshaw drivers along with Noida traffic police and health department, took out a rally in the city to sensitise people against the use of tobacco.“There are around 4,000 poisonous elements present in tobacco and, in India, the highest number of deaths occurs every year due to its usage. I would like to appeal to the citizens to quit tobacco on this occasion,” said Dr Anurag Bhargav, chief medical officer, district health department.“On behalf of the auto union in Noida, I would like to make an appeal to all my driver brothers to quit the habit of chewing paan masala. Its usage will only bring unhappiness and diseases,” said Chaudhay Om Prakash Gurjar, president, Noida Auto Drivers Union.Every year, May 31 is observed as World No Tobacco Day as a reminder of the perils of consuming tobacco. Both smoking and smokeless tobacco use cause many forms of cancers leading to early, painful deaths of users. It is therefore critical to raise awareness to help reduce tobacco use and protect the health of the people. According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco kills more than 7 million people each year across the globe. Over 6 million deaths are a result of direct consumption whereas 8,90,000 are the result of passive smoking. Nearly 100 million premature deaths have been recorded in the 20th century and the figure is set to touch one billion in the 21st century. Smoking kills over one million people in India annually and is the fourth leading cause of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as cancer and heart diseases, which account for 53% of all deaths in India. Doctors also issued an advisory against tobacco, warning the citizens against the dire consequences of its usage.“Nearly half of all tobacco-related cancer is of the lung and oral cavity in men and of the breast and cervix in women. The rate of occurrence of lung cancer is 11 per 1,00,000 individuals and of oral cavity cancer is 10.1. The rate of occurrences of breast and cervical cancers are 25.8 and 22 per 1,00,000,” said Dr Surendra Dabas, Director, head, neck and thorax surgical oncology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.At Sharda Hospital in Greater Noida, the oral diseases department will be organising a free cancer check-up for the next three days.“It has been found that of the 10 cases of tobacco users, at least seven are found to be carrying symptoms of oral cancer. If found at the right time, such diseases can be treated. I request everyone to attend the free camp,” said Dr Anup Raj Chopra, medical superintendent, Sharda Hospital.