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HEALTH & FAMILY WELFARE

National consultation on smokeless Tobacco

New Delhi: March 31,2011

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in collaboration with Pubic Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and World Health Organization (WHO) is organizing a National Consultation on Smokeless Tobacco on April 4-5, 2011 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. Secretary Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India Sh. K. Chandramouli would inaugurate the National Consultations on 4th April 2011. The primary objective is to highlight current pattern and the burden of use of smokeless tobacco in India, with a view to learn from global best practices and find local solutions for regulation.

 

As per the recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India Report, 2010, the current use of smokeless tobacco among adult males in India is as high as 32.9% and for Females it is 18.4%. Overall, 26% of the adult population consumes smokeless tobacco.The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS)-India, 2009 similarly revealed that 12.5% (Boys = 16.2%, Girls = 7.2%) youth use tobacco products other than cigarettes.

 

The GATS India Report notes that Khaini is the most commonly used smokeless tobacco product. Gutkha is the second most common form. The consumption of smokeless tobacco in India is also prevalent in use e.g. paan with tobacco, paan masala with tobacco, Gul, Mawa, Mishri, Bajjar, Gudakhu etc, which are used as dentifrice i.e. for application on teeth or gums. Evidence shows that smokeless tobacco contains more than 3000 chemical compounds of which 29 are proven carcinogens i.e cancer causing substances.

 

Given this scenario, prominent national and international experts have been invited to deliberate on the scientific evidences, while identifying the gaps in policy and capacity for effective prevention and control of smokeless tobacco products both globally and in India. The two day consultation with relevant stakeholders is expected to bring out recommendations aiming at strategies to regulate use of smokeless tobacco in India and south east Asia region. 

 

According to ICMR, 50% of cancers among men and 25% among women in India are related to tobacco use. Nearly 90% of oral cancers are related to use of chewing tobacco. States with high prevalence of smokeless tobacco also face the challenge of high burden of oral cancer. Besides oral cancer, smokeless tobacco use is also associated with cancers of food pipe, pancreas, kidney throat and stomach. There is also increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases among smokeless tobacco users.

 

Prevalence of Smokeless tobacco use is high in North East region and states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa etc. State-wise consumption of smokeless tobacco is as follows:

 

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