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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Save our Goa from cancer-causing tobacco by adopting vendor licensing  system

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Panaji: On the occasion of World Cancer Day, the National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) and Delhi-based Consumer VOICE urged all stakeholders to come together to protect children and youth from tobacco, which is one of the leading causes of cancer. They have also requested the government to implement the rules of tobacco Vendor Licensing to protect people from tobacco products.

World Cancer Day is observed every year on February 4th to raise awareness among general public about the risk factors and measures that can be taken to prevent cancer or its early detection. The day is also celebrated to bust certain myths related to cancer. Tobacco use is a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, over 20 different types or subtypes of cancer, and many other debilitating health conditions.

Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) data shows the prevalence of tobacco consumption is on increase in Goa, comparison to GATS-I. GATS-2 shows 9.7 % percent of adults in Goa consume tobacco in some form or the other. On February11, 2019 the Department of Urban Development of Goa had issued a circular (10/56/2014-DMA/3416) directing all urban local bodies in Goa to develop a mechanism to provide permission/authorization/ vendor licensing through ULBs (Urban local bodies) to retail shops selling tobacco products with a restriction on sale on non-tobacco products as candies, chips, soft drinks etc.

Dr. Shekhar Salkar, Secretary, National Organization Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) said, “Every year, more than 8 million people die from tobacco use globally. In 2020, tobacco-related cancers are estimated to contribute 3.7 lakhs (27.1%) of the total cancer burden in our country. It is the high time we go into combative mode against this disease. Tobacco not only causes direct cancer but also effects various other organs causing peptic ulcer, oesophagus cancer, prostate, urinary bladder, and pancreas. Tobacco Vendor licensing needs to be implemented to keep the younger generation from the influence of tobacco products.”

Mr.Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer, Consumer VOICE says “ The annual economic costs from all tobacco products was estimated at Rs.177,341 crores in 2017-18 amounting to 1% of India’s GDP. Tobacco Vendor licensing needs to be implemented to keep the younger generation from the influence of tobacco products as it will keep a track of tobacco retailers and help in effective enforcement of tobacco control laws”.

The National Cancer Registry Program Report 2020, released by The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Centre for Disease Informatics & Research (NCDIR), Bengaluru, estimates that in 2020 cancer cases in the country will be at 13.9 lakh and likely to increase to 15.7 lakhs by 2025, based on current trends.

Union for International Cancer Control have launched a 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign from 2019 to 2022. ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future. This year 2021 theme–‘I Am and I Will’ campaign Together, all of our actions matter – shows us that our actions have an impact on everyone around us, within our neighbourhoods, communities and cities. This year is a reminder of the enduring power of cooperation and collective action. When we choose to come together, we can achieve what we all wish for: a healthier, brighter world without cancer.

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