‘Govt must strictly enforce ban in order to prevent 90% of oral cancer ‘

Cancer accounts for more deaths worldwide than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) – cancer is among one of the three greatest risks to the global economy. 90% of oral cancers can be prevented if the government implement the Supreme Court’s order which banned chewing tobacco being sold rampantly in twin packs

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  • The Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR) estimates, India will have more than 17.3 lakh new cancer cases and more than 8.8 lakh deaths due to cancer by 2020. This will not only affect the individual health, families of the cancer patients, but also adversely affect the economy of the country as a whole.
  • In India, cancer is one of the 10 leading causes of deaths in India and is an increasing public health challenge. Tobacco use is the leading avoidable risk factor for cancer and about 1 in 5 global cancer deaths is caused by tobacco use.
  • In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi had wished a healthier nation and tobacco free society.

Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death. 90% of oral cancer and 40% of all cancers are caused due to tobacco use. With these alarming numbers, the Honourable Supreme Court on September 23, 2016 had imposed ban on sale of tobacco in twin-packs like gutka, tobacco, pan masala, khaini etc. There is no effective enforcement of this order. This is leading to continuous increase in patients suffering from head and neck cancer (oral and throat cancer).

Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Professor, Surgical Oncology Tata Memorial Hospital said “When we are aware what causes 90% of oral cancers and the law is there to ban these chewing tobacco products in twin packs, then what is stopping the enforcement. 10 lakh deaths every year due to tobacco is alarming. Government must strictly enforce the ban in order to prevent 90% of cancers.”