As a prelude to World No Tobacco Day, which is observed on May 31 , as recognized by World Health Organisation, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital and Indian Dental Association announced their initiative to launch a sustained awareness campaign against tobacco and the rising trends of oral cancer caused by it.
IDA has submitted a memorandum to the Government of West Bengal which has been acknowledged as well. The memorandum focuses on the glaring effects of tobacco epidemic. The memorandum suggests measures to reduce the consumption of tobacco in the state and appeals to the government to take active steps to implement the Anti-Tobacco laws. The two health organizations have planned out a joint initiative for an awareness campaign, which will include regular health talks, check-up camps and suggestions provided to the State government, which would help in the implementation of the Anti Tobacco laws in the State of West Bengal. Tobacco use is the highest preventable cause of death in the world. In India alone, the tobacco epidemic causes around 10 lac deaths every year. According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS 2010), 36.3 % of the population of West Bengal use tobacco in some form and are therefore susceptible to the hazards of the same. This would amount to as much as 2.5 crores of people. According to Suman Mallick, Consultant, Radiation Oncologist at Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah Some customs and addictions, prevalent in the State of West Bengal, are few of the major causes behind the increased incidence of Oral Cancer in the State. Smokeless chewing of tobacco like gutkha, khaini, paan and so on leaves people of this region majorly vulnerable to the hazards of tobacco. To add on cigarettes, bidis and alcohol increases the risk further. Raju Biswas, State Secretary, Indian Dental Association, said, Statistics have shown that every cigarette smoked would reduce ones life span by 11 minutes. Tobacco epidemic is one of the major health threats to the public health system. Because there is a lag of several years between when people start using tobacco and when their health suffers, the epidemic of tobacco-related disease is even more glaring. Our initiative is to free West Bengal from the clutches of Tobacco epidemic. He said, It is very encouraging to get support from NarayanaHealth Network in Kolkata, which has the expertise to treat oral cancer. IDA and Narayana Superspeciality Hospital have jointly organized a rally on World No Tobacco Day to raise awareness about the health hazards and encourage everyone to join in to make the awareness drive a success. The start of the rally is from Dr. R Ahmed Dental College at 4 pm, on May 31. Commenting on this initiative, Rakesh Verma, Facility Director, Naryana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah said, We are extremely serious about the prevention of health issues. . We have therefore planned a sustained awareness campaign which will include regular free check up camps in different parts of West Bengal along with health talks organized on a regular manner to ensure the message about the risks of tobacco is communicated to all. We are happy to be a part of this endeavor to create a healthier society.