Monday, 16 April 2018

PGI, CHANDIGARH DOCTORS COMMITTED TO TOBACCO CONTROL : Chandigarh, April 16, 2018: As the adage goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death. With the aim of having a tobacco free society, doctors of PGIMER, Chandigarh got together for a meeting to address the tobacco epidemic. Organizing and leading the doctors meet in PGI today, Dr Anand Mishra, Additional Professor, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery said, “tobacco is an epidemic killing 10 lac Indians every year. It is the need of the hour that this issue is addressed at all levels in the Government as well as community.”

This very first Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) doctors meet was participated by the Deputy Director Administration PGI, Shri Amitabh Awasthi; Dean & HoD Cytology & Gynae, Pathology Prof Arvind Rajwanshi; Prof Anesthesia GD Puri; HoD Cardiology Prof Yashpal Sharma; HoD Radiotherapy Dr Sushmita Ghoshal, HoD Dental Prof SP Singh; Anesthesia Prof VK Arya; Additional Prof Manmeet Kaur, Dr Sonu Goel, Dr Narendra Kumar and many other senior faculty from various departments.

If we talk about the healthcare costs, the estimated economic cost of tobacco has been estimated at Rs. 1,04,500 crores (US$ 22.4 billion) which is 1.16 percent of the GDP and 12 percent more than the combined State and Central Government expenditures on health ( 2011-12). The financial burden due to direct and indirect costs of tobacco-attributable diseases will continue to push families of millions of tobacco users towards poverty and stealthily decelerate the economic growth of the country. 

The Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR) estimates, India will have more than 17.3 la kh new cancer cases and more than 8.8 lakh deaths due to cancer by 2020. 90% of oral cancers and 50% of all cancers are caused due to tobacco. 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.  

Dr Vedant Kabra, Head of Department Surgical Oncology, Manipal Hospitals and Voice of Tobacco Victims (VoTV) patron, said, “tobacco not only destroys physical health but also is a cause of extreme emotional trauma for the cancer patient as well as the family apart from draining them financially.”

Sambandh Health Foundation (SHF) Trustee and Head of Tobacco Control, Sanjay Seth said, “As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2017, there are 26.7 crore users of tobacco in India. 5500 children initiate tobacco use everyday. One-third of these tobacco users will die prematurely. Lacs and lacs of Indian families are devastated with tobacco deaths, which are preventable. Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death.”