New Delhi: India continues to report the highest prevalence of oral cancers globally with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of such cancers reported every year.Most of this type of cancer can be attributed to the use of chewing tobacco considering more Indians chew tobacco than smoke it.As against 26 percent chewing tobacco users, India has 14 percent smoking tobacco users globally, indicating that prevention of the use of chewing tobacco remains one of the single biggest challenges for Ministry of Health`s ambitious programme to reduce the incidence of non-communicable diseases.A recent report prepared by experts of National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) to study the harmful effects of gutka specified clearly that India alone accounted for 86 per cent of the total oral cancer figure across the world.More disturbing is the finding that chewing tobacco and gutkha contribute to 90 per cent of oral cancer cases in the country, with the Health Ministry now banking on the successful implementation of the 2011 notification which banned the use of tobacco in gutkha by describing gutkha as a food product and saying that food products cannot contain nicotine.
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