Cabinet approves national tobacco control programme

January 28th, 2010 - 10:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The union Cabinet Thursday approved the national tobacco control programme (NTCP) at a cost of Rs.182 crore, which aims at creating public awareness against tobacco use, setting up of testing labs and monitoring adult tobacco surveys.
“The implementation of the NTCP will increase the awareness of the community about the harmful effects of the tobacco use, make the public aware, establish tobacco product testing labs and also provide baseline estimates of tobacco prevalence and status of implementation of the Tobacco Control Law,” the cabinet committee on economic affairs said.

In India, nearly 900,000 people die every year due to tobacco. Around 30 percent of cancers in India are related to it. In the northeast region, 50 percent of cancers among men and 24 percent among women are related to tobacco use,

As per available evidence, incidence of impotence is 85 percent higher among smokers. Tobacco use by pregnant women leads to low birth weight babies, still births and birth defects.

Though the NTCP will cover the entire country ultimately, a pilot phase will start in 42 districts of 21 states.

The NTCP will be implemented in the remaining years of the XIth Plan. Under it, states will work out districts specific plans depending on their priority. It would include training, sensitisation workshop and so on on awareness building and implementation of the law.

The funds for tobacco product testing labs will be released in a phased manner, so that the labs are set up by 2010-11. The initial recurring expenditure for thee labs will be met up to three years. The Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) will be completed in April 2010 and the evaluation of pilot phase of NTCP will also be taken up in 2010-11.

Tobacco is one of the key preventable cause of death and disease in the world today. Globally approximately 5.4 million people die directly or indirectly due to tobacco use. More than 80 percent of these deaths occur in the developing countries.

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