Stop The Use Of Tobacco – Poster Making Competition

Irrespective of where CAN FIGHT CANCER goes and the nature of activity we are involved in, there is one message that it takes along ‘STOP THE USE OF TOBACCO’. The idea is to create awareness against tobacco in all its forms. May being the month for awareness against the use of tobacco it was an opportunity not to be missed.

In this article we have decided to share some facts and figures about tobacco and smoking and the ensuing legislation regarding prevalence of this menace in India.

Tobacco – A Gift of the Portuguese to the World

I am sure when Christopher Columbus introduced tobacco to the world he haddownload no idea that it would be considered as a health hazard one day. After Columbus the Portuguese and the Spanish introduced to all parts of the world. To begin with tobacco was chewed, smoked and sniffed for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. Tobacco was used for relief from toothache, for relief from ulcers, for treating the lungs, spleen and as an antifungal. These are the very reasons behind introduction of tobacco to Europe. It also had a goodwill value and was known as the peace pipe. The first king to pass a condemnation against tobacco was King James I of England.

 Tobacco Use – Facts and Figures for India

The figures as you will see are shocking and startling at the same time.   What makes the situation more worrisome is the fact that inspite of existence of laws directed towards minimizing the use of tobacco in all forms its use in one or the other form (like smoking) is still high.

Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking

According to the Tobacco Atlas (World Lung Foundation) in the year 2010

  • 390,000 hectares of land in India is under tobacco cultivation making it the second largest producer of tobacco;
  • India is the second largest consumer of tobacco;
  • Nearly 274.9 million people amounting to nearly 1/3rd of the of the adult population uses tobacco in one form or the other;
  •  Amongst this large category –
    • 163.7 million are using smokeless tobacco alone
    • 68.9 million are smokers alone
    • 42.3 million use both forms of tobacco
    • Nearly 14.1% children (13-15 years of age) are using tobacco in one form or the other
    • Bidis and chewing tobacco occupy 81% of the Indian tobacco market
    • The overall prevalence of tobacco use amongst males is 48% and 20% in females
    • When it comes to rural areas every two in five adults and one in four adults in urban areas are habitual of using tobacco in one or the other form
    • 33% males are using smokeless tobacco while in the case of women the percentage is around 18%
    • In India nearly 30% of cancers in males are tobacco related
    • Nearly 80% of all oral cancers cases in India are related to the use of tobacco.

Tobacco and Legislation in India

To begin with it is important to understand that cultivation, production and use of tobacco are an important contributor to the economy of India. It provides livelihood to more than 6 million farmers, 20 million industry workers and gets more than 70 million rupees for the exchequer. There have been repeated efforts from various fronts to help realize that the detrimental effect of tobacco is much more than its benefits to the economy. Continuous efforts from various fronts have led to certain legislations in this direction.

It was in 1975 that the first legislation was passed with the objective of facilitating production and curing of tobacco, fixation of minimum prices and providing subsidiaries. There have been multiple legislations that have been passed time and again with the objective of curbing and deglamourizing smoking. The most important legislations towards this have been:

  • The Cigarettes Act which was also passed in 1975 made it mandatory for all packages to carry a statutory warning “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health”.

    Banned Products

    Banned Products

  • Smoking was added to the definition of air pollution in Prevention and Control of Pollution Act
  • The Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 made the act of spitting or smoking in public illegal
  • The Cable Television Networks Act passed in 2000 prohibited transmission of tobacco advertisements.
  • In 2001, the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Bill was a landmark effort. The law banned smoking in public places and sale of tobacco to persons below 18 years of age, tobacco packing’s to carry a warning and prohibited tobacco companies to advertise and sponsor sporting and cultural events. The law covers tobacco in all its forms.

I have also made a short poem on quitting smoking which goes as follows

Once upon a time there was a lad

Who lived merrily with his Mom and Dad

One day he found a city job and they were all glad

With happiness so much that they literally went mad

Off went the boy to the city beautiful

To work and earn money and to be dutiful

Everything was going so smooth and nothing did lag

When destiny stuck and the boy had his first fag

The first experience was bit too much of a joy

Transformation came and he turned adult from an innocent boy

For cigarette smoking is considered a fashion of the grown ups

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For these people are those who drinketh from their cups

Soon the casual habit turned into a passion very strong

That slowly and steadily everything seemed to go wrong

First cough, then weak health were a few cents of the price to pay

But the bigger price was something which I don’t know how to say

For the boy developed cancer and suffered slowly till death

His parents could not forget their sorrow till their last breath

Just avoid tobacco in all forms and quit smoking for heaven’s sake

If you cannot make others happy at least sad you do not make

For life is given only once and keep it tobacco free

For health comes from avoiding drugs, alcohol, tobacco and doesn’t grow on tree

Just avoid any form of tobacco, be it chewing or smoke

And keep your life healthy, don’t let it choke

Poster Making Competition – Teens Against Tobacco

Teens Against Tobacco

Teens Against Tobacco

Date of Event: May 16th 2014

Time: 12:00 Noon

At: KVM, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Total No. of Participants: 1102

  • CFC will sponsor the prizes for the best posters.
  • All students to be given certificate of participation
  • CFC will sponsor the refreshment for all participants.

References for Article Information:

Times of India portal

World Lung Foundation Website

R Mehrotra, V Mehrotra, T Jandoo, 2010, Tobacco control legislation in India: Past and present, Indian Journal of Cancer.

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  • meetunayyar
  • A lawyer by profession, social worker and a fighter against cancer