New Delhi: Almost 250 million adults consume smokeless tobacco in India and 10 other countries in WHO`s South-East Asia Region, accounting for 90 per cent global smokeless tobacco users, according to WHO. The world health body said the figure is in addition to 250 million smokers in the region. Given the high number of users and serious health consequences of tobacco use, nations in the region have set a target for 30 per cent reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use by persons over 15 years age. The WHO said oral cancer is the most common cancer caused by smokeless tobacco and the SE-Asia Region carries the highest burden of oral cancer with over 95,000 oral cancer cases each year. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said over half of all oral cancers in Asia are caused by tobacco.
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