By Our Chief Reporter
National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) and Consumer Voice, Delhi organized press interaction meet on April 6, 2018 at Goa International Centre Goa. The purpose of this meet was to discuss various pressing issues related to tobacco use and how media can play an effective role in tobacco control.
Tobacco kills over 7 million people each year, and, if current trends persist, tobacco will cause 1 billion deaths this century, mostly in low- and middle-income countries.
As per the latest Global Adult Tobacco Survey, about 28.6% of adults (267 million people) aged 15 or above use tobacco in some form in India. Out of this, about 100 million adults smoke tobacco, and 200 million people use smokeless tobacco. In India, despite tobacco control interventions the health and economic costs due to Tobacco-use has increased enormously.
As per the report of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) India 2016-17, of the total population in Goa 4.2% smoke tobacco and 6.5% use smokeless tobacco in Goa.
India was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 (COTPA) is the principal comprehensive law governing tobacco control in India.
Tobacco products are easily available to children even when there is a law prohibiting their sale near educational institutions (within 100 yards). In present scenario school children and youth are being targeted easily and tobacco products are easily available. Vendors are selling tobacco products along with toffee /chocolate to attract children this habit needs to be curbed down with vendor licensing.
Addressing media here today, Ashim Sanyal Chief Operating Officer Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE) said that the vendor licensing is an effective way to manage random sale of tobacco products and aims at controlled sales through registered vendors.Goa is a real good example of tobacco control achievements through partnership between Government and civil society organisations. However more needs more needs to be done to eradicate the tobacco menace.
Dr.Shekhar Salkar , Head of Department, Oncology, Manipal Hospital Goa and President National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication who is championing the tobacco control initiatives in Goa pointed out several instances of violation of laws and said that the work needs to be amplified to reach to the goa population to encourage them to participate in the process of tobacco control.
Media has the great role to play in saving lives of millions of fellow Indian and to save younger generation from falling into the deadly tobacco trap.