The National Service Scheme (NSS) under the Union Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry, comprising of college and school students, has launched a mega awareness campaign against tobacco consumption.
The campaign “Pledge For Life - Tobacco Free Youth” was launched on June 7, 2019, by Mr N. Raja, Director, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, at the University Conference Centre, Delhi University.
A workshop was organized by NSS in association with Sambandh Health Foundation to educate NSS program officers about harmful effects of tobacco consumption.
Dr Vedant Kabra, Director, Cancer Care, Manipal Hospitals-Dwarka, Delhi, said that tobacco usage causes 90% of oral/lung cancers which leads to fatalities, major loss of quality of life, trauma and financial ruin for families.
Dr Kabra added: "Unfortunately, more than 50% of oral cancer victims who undergo surgery do not survive more than one year. Prevention is better than cure and NSS can contribute significantly in saving the youth from tobacco addiction.”
Mr N. Raja said, “37 lac NSS volunteers will play a positive role in bringing behavior change by refraining from using tobacco and motivating others to do so.”
Arvind Mathur, Trustee, Sambandh Health Foundation, said, “University of Delhi has around 7500 NSS volunteers who will definitely bring the number of deaths caused due to tobacco, the single most preventable cause of death worldwide.”
According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2017) more than 25 lac (17.8%) people in Delhi smoked or chewed tobacco. Also, more than 19,000 tobacco users die annually in Delhi due to diseases attributable to tobacco. The report states 81 children are introduced to tobacco every day in Delhi.