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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 107
 

Anti-tobacco regulations in India - Genuine or Gimmick?


Department of Oral Medicine & Radiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal - 576 104, India

Date of Web Publication9-Jul-2010

Correspondence Address:
A G Nayak
Department of Oral Medicine & Radiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal - 576 104
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.63862

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How to cite this article:
Nayak A G, Vineetha R, Pai K M. Anti-tobacco regulations in India - Genuine or Gimmick?. Indian J Cancer 2010;47, Suppl S1:107

How to cite this URL:
Nayak A G, Vineetha R, Pai K M. Anti-tobacco regulations in India - Genuine or Gimmick?. Indian J Cancer [serial online] 2010 [cited 2019 Jul 23];47, Suppl S1:107. Available from: http://www.indianjcancer.com/text.asp?2010/47/5/107/63862


Dear sir,

The point raised by Sharma and Giri regarding tobacco-related policies in India is very valid and warrants serious consideration. [1] Tobacco abuse is the single most significant factor in the development of many cancers and in the oral cavity, especially cancer and precancers that can be easily prevented by appropriate awareness programs. However, the lack of stringent regulations against tobacco abuse or their implementation thereof is a major inhibiting factor in oral cancer prevention programs. Although it has been nearly 2 years since the smoking ban in public places has been in effect, in actuality it is scarcely implemented in a rigid manner. The regulation stating depiction of pictorial warnings on cigarette packets is also farcical, as most cigarette packets come with a small picture of a blurred chest radiograph, which even a trained clinician can barely interpret. Recently, when taking a patient's history of tobacco smoking we enquired about the picture on the cigarette pack he was carrying with him and he responded that he did not know what it was and thought it was some black and white design. This clearly points out the inefficiency of the pictorial display and highlights the ground situation where the said regulation is clearly not implemented in spirit with which it was intended. Surrogacy of tobacco advertisements via pan masala advertisements has been a proven fact and just adds fuel to the fire. [2] Such advertisements are targeted primarily at the younger age-groups where intense peer pressure acts as a facilitating factor in the addiction. The association between tobacco and various cancers has been made years ago in the previous century and inspite of so much documented research both in India and abroad, tobacco is still winning the war. Given the sorry state of affairs of Indian laws and regulations, the effectiveness of cancer prevention programs and antitobacco education is but naturally deficient. India accounts for a major chunk of oral cancer cases worldwide, and such a distinction we could definitely do without, as the consequent economic burden is immense. In our opinion, it is high time that the medical fraternity rises as one and points out these deficiencies to our policy makers, who have been dilly-dallying on the topic of antitobacco legislation. Until then, thousands of ignorant people will continue dying as a direct consequence of tobacco use.

 
  References Top

1.Sharma V, Giri S. Cancer control in India- A sorry state. Indian J Cancer 2009;46:340.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Sushma C, Sharang C. Pan masala advertisements are surrogate for tobacco products. Indian J Cancer 2005;42:94-8.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  



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