Context: Large corporate enterprises themselves are making efforts to reduce the harm of tobacco consumption
Consequences of Tobacco Cultivation and Consumptions
- According to the WHO, 600 million trees are chopped down annually to make cigarettes, 84 million tonnes of CO2 emissions are released into the atmosphere, and 22 billion litres of water are used to make cigarettes.
- India, the world’s second largest producer of tobacco, produces about 800 million kg annually.
- Addiction and Health
- The second Global Adult Tobacco Survey estimated that 28.6% of all adults in India used tobacco in 2016-2017, second only to China.
- The survey said 4% of men and 14.2% of women used tobacco — both the smokeless form, i.e. chewing tobacco, and smoked form, i.e. cigarettes and ‘bidis’.
- In 2021, smoking killed about 8 million people.
- Tobacco use is known to be a major risk factor for several non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.
- Nearly 27% of all cancers in India are due to tobacco usage
What has India done to Control Tobacco Consumption?
- India adopted the tobacco control provisions under WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
- The Promulgation of the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Ordinance, 2019 prohibits Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement of e-Cigarettes.
- The Government of India launched the National Tobacco Quitline Services (NTQLS) which have the sole objective to provide telephone-based information, advice, support, and referrals for tobacco cessation.
- mCessation Programme is a similar initiative which uses mobile technology for tobacco cessation. It was launched in 2016 as part of the government’s Digital India initiative.
Large corporate enterprises themselves are making efforts to reduce the harm of tobacco consumption
- Cigarette companies themselves appear to be changing. In 2016, one of the largest cigarette companies pledged to begin transitioning its customers away from tobacco to smoke-free products.
- By transitioning to safer nicotine delivery systems, and moving away from tobacco, cigarette companies are potentially lowering the risk of their customers dying from cancer.
Decline in Tobacco Consumption:
- The prevalence of tobacco use has decreased by six percentage points from 34.6% in 2009-10 to 28.6% in 2016-17.
- Under the National Health Policy 2017, India has set an ambitious target of reducing tobacco use by 30% by 2025.
While there are problems in the business of tobacco and cigarettes, there are options, solutions and global movements being undertaken. Educating potential consumers to not consume tobacco, supporting consumers in their journey to quit, and incentivising industry to help consumers and the planet will protect not just our lungs, but also the air we breathe.
Source: The Hindu