India remains soft against tobacco consumption: Expert

NURPUR: The 21st Century should be the last phase for tobacco-related deaths and diseases, said Dr Nikhil Gupta, a medical researcher and Kangra district AIDS programme officer here on Friday.

Rajiv Mahajan

 

Nurpur, December 30

The 21st Century should be the last phase for tobacco-related deaths and diseases, said Dr Nikhil Gupta, a medical researcher and Kangra district AIDS programme officer here on Friday.

He has recently published his research work titled “Death knell for tobacco in 21st Century” in an international journal of health and allied sciences.

He said alarming statistics by the World Health Organisation had indicated that tobacco killed 100 million persons in the 20th Century across the world and it was apprehended to enhance mortality rate to 1 billion persons in the 21st Century if cessation was not undertaken. He said over 80 per cent of all tobacco-related deaths would knock low and middle income countries in the world, adding that India was soft-pedalling in adopting taxation mechanism to thwart tobacco consumption.

Dr Gupta said bidis and oral tobacco were virtually more dangerous than any other tobacco product and were out of the tax net.

“As per Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2010, 33 per cent males and 3.8 per cent females smoke in Himachal. But much improvement has happened in the past two years in controlling and containing tobacco products,” he said.

Department of Community Medicine, IGMC, Shimla, and Population Research Centre, HPU conducted the end-line compliance survey and observed that of 12 districts, Bilaspur topped the list and was 93% successful in controlling tobacco or its products, whereas Kangra district (80%) was at the bottom, he said.

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