13 Feb 2014

Tobacco-Induced Cancer

Tobacco-Induced Cancer
The exact number of people including children suffering from tobacco induced cancers in the country is not known. However, the overall trend of incidence [cancer occurrence] is rising. 

Health being a state subject, it is for the State Governments to provide health care services to the people. However, the Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments through, inter alia, the Central Government Health Institutions and National Programmes. 

The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, CVD and Stroke [NPCDCS] was started in 2010 for providing assistance to State Governments for activities including health promotion, early detection and treatment of Cancer, Diabetes, CVD and Stroke. NPCDCS activities upto the District level are now under the umbrella of the National Health Mission. 

The Government of India has also taken various measures including enacting the Anti-Tobacco Law titled “Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, (COTPA) 2003”.

Launching of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in the year 2007-08 and up-scaling this in the 12th Five Year Plan and notifying the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011 for curbing the consumption of tobacco/tobacco products. 

The COTPA, inter alia, prohibits smoking in public places, bans direct / indirect advertisement of tobacco products including sponsorship and promotion, bans sale of tobacco products to and by minors, bans sale of tobacco products within 100 yards of educational institutions, and mandates display of pictorial health warnings on all tobacco product packages. 

The objectives of the National Tobacco Control Programme include creation of awareness about the harmful effects of tobacco consumption, implementation of the COTPA and helping users to quit tobacco through Tobacco Cessation Centres. The programme has been already implemented in 21 states covering 42 districts. 

The Ministry has notified the new graphic health warnings for display on tobacco product packages, which have come into effect from 1st April, 2013. 

The Ministry has also notified the rules to regulate depiction of tobacco products or their use in films and TV programmes. 

This was stated by Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today. 

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