GUWAHATI: The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use in Assam has increased by around nine percent.
As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) data, the prevalence of any tobacco use has significantly increased from 39.3% in GATS 1 to 48.2% in its latest survey.
On Saturday, marking the National Cancer Awareness Day, the Consumers’ Legal Protection Forum (CLPF), Assam and Consumer VOICE, Delhi have urged all stakeholders to take a pledge to protect children and youth from tobacco which has been the leading cause of cancerous diseases.
The CLPF also demanded the state government to implement the rules of tobacco Vendor Licensing to protect people from tobacco products.
Access to tobacco products needs to be limited to children and youth. Responsible selling requires Vendor Licensing in Assam, CLPF said.
Advocate Ajoy Hazarika, CLPF secretary, said, “In 2020, tobacco-related cancers are estimated to contribute 3.7 lakhs (27.1%) of the total cancer burden. It is the high time we go into combative mode against this disease. Tobacco not only causes direct cancer but also affects various other organs causing peptic ulcer, esophagus cancer, prostate, urinary bladder, and pancreas. Tobacco Vendor licensing needs to be implemented to keep the younger generation from the influence of tobacco products”.
Cancers related to the use of any form of tobacco were highest in the northeastern region of the country and in higher proportions in men. Cancer of the lung, mouth, stomach and esophagus were the most common cancers among men.