The rally organised by the IDA was started from Dr R Ahmed Dental College and Hospital at 4 pm on Tuesday in which hundreds of people, doctors and celebrities took part. The organisers took a pledge to carry out a sustainable programme against tobacco consumption and spreading awareness against it.
The rally focuses on the rising trends of oral cancer caused by the consumption of tobacco through various forms. As a part of the extensive campaign the organisers planned a joint initiative for an awareness campaign including regular health talks and check-up cams. They are likely to provide suggestions to the state government for the better implementation of anti Tobacco laws in the State of West Bengal.
Tobacco use is the highest preventable cause of death in the world. In India alone, the tobacco epidemic causes around 10 lakh death every year. According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2010, around 36.3 per cent of the population in West Bengal use tobacco in some form or the other and are therefore susceptible to the hazards of the same. This would amount to as much as 2.5 crore of people.
Dr Saurav Datta, head and neck oncologist said: “Some customs and addictions, prevalent in the State of West Bengal, are few of the major causes behind the increased incidence of Oral Cancer in the State. Smokeless chewing of tobacco like gutkha, khaini, paan and so on leaves people of this region majorly vulnerable to the hazards of tobacco. To add on cigarettes, bidis and alcohol increases the risk further”.
Dr. Raju Biswas, State Secretary of IDA said: “Statistics have shown that every cigarette smoked would reduce one’s life span by 11 minutes. Tobacco epidemic is one of the major health threats to the public health system. Because there is a lag of several years between when people start using tobacco and when their health suffers, the epidemic of tobacco-related disease is even more glaring. Our initiative is to free our state from the ill effcets of Tobacco epidemic.”