Mumbai doctor’s demand tobacco de-addiction centres in state run hospitals in Maharashtra. In a letter to Dr Deepak Sawant, the State Health Minister, Dr Ramakant Deshpande, Oncologist and executive chairman of the Asian Cancer Institute requested the government to de-addiction centres in hospitals to help people quit tobacco.
Director of Asian Cancer Institute, Dr Sanjay Sharma (Oncosurgeon) handed over the appeal letter to Dr Sawant at Mantralaya on Tuesday afternoon. “We met Dr Deepak Sawant and he has accepted our demand for starting tobacco de-addiction centres. Within two weeks, we have to share the plan of action with him” said Dr Sharma.
The Asian Cancer Institute is starting its own tobacco de-addiction centre, which will be a first-of-its-kind initiative in a private hospital.
“Tobacco consumption is cited as a primary risk factor for cancers. Tobacco-related cancers are ranked among the early preventable health risk,” according to Dr Deshpande.
In India, 1.2 lakh people die every year directly due to tobacco consumption. The number is expected to shoot up to 1.5 lakh in five years. Thirty per cent of the estimated 16.5-lakh new cancer cases in 2020 will be directly related to tobacco and can be prevented. “While 90 percent of tobacco consumers are aware of its harmful effects, they do not know how to quit the habit. We need robust tobacco cessation programmes in our government hospitals to help them quit tobacco consumption,” said Dr Deshpande. He further said “Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan have started tobacco cessation programmes to help their citizens get rid of the habit”.