NEW DELHI 5 March 2015
Nearly a million deaths occur in India every year due to tobacco-related diseases. The Global Adult Tobacco Survey – India (GATS) shows 35 per cent of adults in the age group of 15 years and above, 48 cent men and 20 cent women, consume tobacco in some form or the other.
Smokeless tobacco is the most-prevalent form of tobacco in India within the lower socioeconomic groups and women. According to the survey, more than 20 crore Indians use smokeless tobacco.
Many of the provisions already stand translated into domestic law in the country. With strong commitment at the highest level, a lot has been achieved, but more ground needs to be covered. The availability, affordability and easy access to a plethora of low-cost and locally produced tobacco products are a formidable challenge.
Health Secretary BP Sharma launched Public Service Advertisements and Posters on tobacco control featuring cricketer Rahul Dravid to reach out to millions of young and potential tobacco users to refrain from the deadly habit.
Speaking on the occasion, the secretary hoped that the association of Rahul Dravid with this cause will inspire the youth of the country to stay away from tobacco products. He said that the growing number of youth and women consuming tobacco in some form is a cause of grave concern and stressed the need to target this section of the society by anti-tobacco campaigns.
The audio and visual advertisements, in Hindi and English, along with posters will be used to create awareness regarding the harmful effects of tobacco use through TV, radio, at schools, community spaces, railway compartments, and social media.
(The Secretary, Health B.P. Sharma launched the PSA and posters on tobacco control featuring India’s ambassador for tobacco control, Rahul Dravid. Also seen are the DGHS, Dr. Jagdish Prasad, the Additional Secretary and Mission Director (NHM), C.K. Mishra and the President, Public Health Foundation of India ,Prof. K Srinath Reddy.)
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