2 Jun 2012

Shri Azad Flags Off Rally on World No Tobacco Day

The Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad today flagged off the Rally for ‘Voice of Tobacco Victims’ by Health Fitness Trust from Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day. More than 150 volunteers took part in this run which culminated at India Gate via Rajpath. The theme for this year’s World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is "Tobacco Industry Interference". Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that creating awareness about ill effects of tobacco is of vital importance. Government is trying to combat the menace by stricter laws and people need to make an informed choice for the sake of their health and well being. “More than penalty, awareness generation can be more productive”, he said. 

Tobacco use is a major preventable cause of premature death and disease worldwide. It is one of the common risk factors for a number of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and accounts for more than two-third of all new cases of NCDs. The World No Tobacco Day (WNTD), observed every year worldwide on 31st May is a unique global event established to call attention to the impact of tobacco use on public health and to effectively reduce individual tobacco dependence. 

Nearly one million people die in India every year due to tobacco use. A Health cost study conducted by India Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in India revealed that the direct and indirect costs of three major tobacco-related diseases, namely cancer, coronary artery disease (CAD) and chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) was over Rs. 30,000 crores for the year 2002-03. If current trend continues, by 2030 tobacco will kill more than 8 million people worldwide every year, with 80% of these premature deaths occurring among people in low and middle-income countries. It is estimated that over the course of the 21st century, tobacco use could kill up to a billion people unless urgent action is taken. 

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