New Delhi: The task of tackling tobacco
abuse should not be left to government alone and doctors along
with NGOs should also take lead in the campaign against the
menace which claims over eight lakh lives in the country every
year, leading healthcare professionals said Saturday.
According to statistics provided by Health Ministry,
8-9 lakh people die due to tobacco use in India every year and
the country has the largest number of oral cancer cases in the
"We lose 2,500 patients yearly because of consumption
of tobacco and allied products in our hospital. We need to
enforce strong punitive action against those who indulge in
tobacco use. It is upon not just the government but also
doctors, civil society, NGOs and individuals to check the
menace," Dr N K Chaturvedi, MD of RML Hospital, said.
He was speaking at the Consensus Conference on Tobacco
Cessation, Treatment and Care` organised by the PGIMER- Dr
Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Chronic Care Foundation and Pfizer
"Unlike the West, where only cigarete smoking is a
problem, people in India are using tobacco in different ways.
We have more than 40 million smokers in southeast Asia with
Indians being a considerable part of the figure," Dhirendra
Sinha of WHO said.