POLITICAL PARTIES MISSING MOST IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE OF TOBACCO CONSUMPTION
Jaipur,Dr. Pawan Singhal (Head & Neck Surgeon SMS Hospital,Jaipur) and a Patron of Voice of Tobacco Victims asked the political parties to include tobacco control in their manifesto. No political party is even talking about tobacco,. even though it is the biggest public health problem in India.
How serious the issue is?
In India, every year in India, around one million new cancer cases are diagnosed and around 600,000 to 700,000 people die from cancer. Around two-fifths (40%) of all cancers in India are attributable to tobacco use and the economic costs of illness and premature death due to tobacco consumption exceed combined government and state expenditure and state expenditure on medical and public health, water supply and sanitation. (Challenges to effective cancer control in China, India and Russia, April 2014 – The Lancet Oncology).
Vikram Singh Raghav, Project Director , Rajasthan Voluntary Health Association (RVHA) told as per the GATS released by the MoHFW (2010), 1.49 Crore Rajasthanis are consuming tobacco in some or the other form. One-third of them will be diseased by the serious illnesses such as cancer, heart diseases, lung cancers etc and will die prematurely deaths.During these elections, not one political party is talking about saving the children of India who are consuming tobacco even from the age of 8 years. Every day in India, 5500 children start to use tobacco in some or the other form. Children are consuming tobacco instead of toffees and ice-cream. Is this not serious for the political party leaders? Tobacco industry is known to contribute heavily to political parties. Is this making the parties blind to the suffering of millions?Hazards of tobacco are unlimited. There’s no body part which is not affected by it. Political leaders need to save our children from this deadly product. The issue of tobacco must be included in election manifestos.
Smokeless tobacco contains nicotine, which is highly addictive. There are 3095 chemical components in tobacco, among them 28 are proven carcinogen. The major and most abundant group of carcinogens is the tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines (TSNA) and N-nitrosoamino acids. The nitrosamine level is directly related to the risk of cancer. Scientific evidence has established that tobacco chewing causes cancer of mouth, oesophagus (food pipe), larynx and pharynx (throat), pancreas, stomach, kidney and lung. It can also cause high blood pressure and other life threatening cardiovascular conditions like myocardial ischemia, stroke etc.The use of smokeless tobacco during pregnancy can cause still birth, low birth weight, premature delivery, anaemia of mother and several complications during delivery.