“World No Tobacco Day” and “Tobacco Consumption” in India

What is the News?

Every year, on 31st May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This year, the WHO has honoured the health minister of India with the ‘WHO Director-General Special Recognition Award’ for his effort to control tobacco consumption in India.

About World No Tobacco Day:
  • World No Tobacco Day is an annual event organised by the World Health Organisation(WHO) on May 31st.
  • Objective: The day aims to raise awareness about the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use. Thereby, discouraging the use of tobacco in any form.
  • Theme: “Commit to Quit“. This theme aims to support 100 million people worldwide to give up tobacco through a range of initiatives and digital solutions.
Tobacco Consumption in India:
  • Reduction in Tobacco Use: Due to the efforts of Central and State Governments, the prevalence of tobacco use has decreased by six percentage points from 34.6% in 2009-10 to 28.6% in 2016-17.
  • Deaths due to Tobacco Consumption: In India, every year more than 1.3 million deaths are attributable to tobacco use. This amounts to 3500 deaths per day due to tobacco consumption.
  • Risk of Covid-19: Tobacco smokers face a 40-50% higher risk of developing severe disease deaths from COVID-19.
  • Economic Cost: As per the WHO report, the economic burden of diseases and deaths attributable to tobacco use in India was as high as Rs. 1.77 lakh crores. This amounts to approx 1% of Indian GDP.

Initiatives taken by India to Control Tobacco Consumption:

  • Cigarettes Act,1975: The act mandated the display of statutory health warnings in advertisement and on cartons and cigarette packages.
  • Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act(COTPA),2003: The act replaced the Cigarettes Act of 1975. It aims to provide smoke-free public places and also placed restrictions on tobacco advertising and promotion.
  • Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Bill, 2019: It aims to prohibit the Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.
  • National Health Policy 2017: It has set an ambitious target of reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025.
  • Tobacco Quit line service -1800-112-356: It was initiated in 2016 to reach a large number of tobacco users. It aims to provide telephone-based information, advice, support, and referrals for tobacco cessation.
  • India has also signed the tobacco control provisions under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).

Source: TOI


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