Rallies, public events mark World No Tobacco Day in Delhi

New Delhi: Rallies, mass pledges and other public events marked the World No Tobacco Day in the capital on Tuesday as government agencies, NGOs and corporates sought to enhance awareness against tobacco use which could kill eight million people by 2030 as per WHO estimates.

The National Cadet Corps organised an anti-tobacco rally at India Gate lawns here. Similar programmes were held by it in Connaught Place and Hauz Khas in the city.

A number of NGOs organised events to mark the day while some joined hands with corporates for awareness campaigns.

The Tobacco Intervention Initiative of the Indian Dental Association announced a partnership with tobacco cessation products manufacturer Nicorette. The DSC Limited, which has built and operates the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, launched an awareness programme jointly with NGO Centre for Transforming India. It also held a free health camp.

Meanwhile, the MCD's Rajan Babu Institute for Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis organised a public lecture and film screening on harmful effects of tobacco consumption.

Tobacco kills approximately 60 lakh people across the globe and 10 lakh in India every year. According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey of 2010, one-third of all adults (35 per cent) in India are using tobacco in one form or the other.

The government has recently notified new gory pictorial warnings for tobacco products packets. India has also ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).

According to WHO, the 'tobacco epidemic' could kill eight million people by 2030. ""More needs to be done for the treaty (FCTC) to achieve its full potential... countries must also pass, or strengthen, the necessary implementing legislation and then rigorously enforce it," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement to mark the day.