India has 275 million tobacco users. Nearly 206 million consume smokeless tobacco and 111 million smoke tobacco. It is considered as one of the main reasons for non-communicable diseases like cancer and pulmonary disorders, reports LiveMint. According to the recently released Global Adult Tobacco Survey, about 35 percent of the adults in India consume tobacco in some form or the other. Meanwhile the $11 billion tobacco industry is growing.
To stop the growing menace, every year World No Tobacco Day is observed on May 31. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe. According to Wikipedia, the day is further intended to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of tobacco use and to negative health effects, which currently lead to nearly 6 million deaths each year worldwide, including 600,000 of which are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
This year, in addition to creating awareness, the Indian Government has decided to focus on school children to cut tobacco consumption. After the successful implementation of 85% pictorial warnings on tobacco products, the government is taking steps to discourage smoking. He also launched tobacco quitline, a telephone helpline for people wanting to quit smoking.
Earlier this month Supreme Court also told tobacco companies they must adhere to a new federal rule requiring much larger health warnings on cigarette packs, in a major setback for the $11 billion industry that opposes the new policy. The Supreme Court turned down a plea to stay implementation of the new rules introduced from April 1, which require health warnings to cover 85 percent of a cigarette pack’s surface, up from 20 percent earlier.
It is an uphill battle and the success lies in its effective implementation. Read more: India’s war on tobacco and industry woes.
Meanwhile government bodies and politicians supported the cause on social media:
Brands joined in to support the day:
2. Hindustan Times
6. Moto India
7. LeEco India
10. Movies Now
11. HDFC Life
12. Philips Sound
14. Max Healthcare
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Image credit: Twitter