Today is 'World No Tobacco Day'

Today is 'World No Tobacco Day'

Tobacco kills more people than HIV/AIDS, drugs, accidents, murder, suicide combined

World No Tobacco Day is being observed on May 31.

The theme for campaign is ‘Tobacco Industry Interference’ and is intended to focus on the need to expose and counter the tobacco industry’s brazen and increasingly aggressive attempts to undermine global tobacco control efforts. More than 10 lakh Indians and globally eight million people die annually and tobacco kills more people than HIV/AIDS, drugs, accidents, murder and suicide combined; 80 per cent of deaths occur in developing world.

India is one of the 174 countries now committed to implementing the protocol of the treaty — Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), sponsored by UN/World Health Organisation and these countries govern nearly 90 per cent of the world’s seven billion people.

But the question is how far these countries have been able to reduce the addiction level of tobacco by people, asks anti-tobacco forum convenor Vasanthkumar Mysoremath in a press release.

India is the third largest tobacco producer in the world with 620 million kilograms per year and is the fifth largest exporter. Over 5,500 Indian youth get initiated to tobacco every day, even sixth standard children are getting hooked. More Indians use non-smoke tobacco-laced forms and India has the highest incidence of oral cancers.

In Karnataka, farmers are shunning traditional practices of cultivating staple foods and are succumbing to the prospect of earning more money by growing tobacco, even though they are aware that soil will loose its fertility. There are more than 40,000 licensed growers in Karnataka and an equal number of illegal growers. The Tobacco Board has not succeeded in diverting farmers from growing tobacco.

The Tobacco Board is the watch dog for ensuring control over proliferation of tobacco and for fulfilling FCTC commitment by the nation, in effect helping growth of tobacco industry.

The board also helps the Tobacco Growers Association in honouring the farmers for their continued patronage for growing tobacco and is being attended to by the officials and elected representatives.

The tobacco industry’s interference continues and commands the world tobacco trade and commerce through unmatched lobbying and if their greed is not condemned and controlled, a day might come when every other farmer may opt to grow tobacco than staple foods. Time to ‘Kill the Killer’. Ensure zero tobacco world, said Mysoremath in the release.

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