While health organizations across the world are struggling to curb smoking, India continue to face a big challenge of tackling the menace of smokeless tobacco. While India remains one of the largest consumers of smokeless tobacco such as Pan Masala, Gutkha and Khaini, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s main agenda in the upcoming Seventh Session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) would be to focus on the problem.
The seventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) to World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) will be held from November 7 to 12 in Greater Noida.
Many people, especially in rural areas consume various forms of smokeless tobacco such as Pan Masala, Gutkha, Khaini etc. which is directly linked to cause different kinds of cancers, doctors say.
Tobacco use kills over 6 million people per year and India, which is the third biggest tobacco producer in the world, sees close to a million deaths due to tobacco consumption. According to WHO estimates, tobacco-related diseases cost the country over $16 billion annually.
There are several factors that affect tobacco use, in some cases, it is the family history of tobacco use by elders, peer influence, desire to experiment, social isolation, emotional and psychosocial problems.
Various surveys conducted in the country among youth have noted that those in late adolescents years, especially between 16 and 19 years, are particularly vulnerable to addiction due to increasing academic pressure, encouragement by peers and easy availability.