A report released by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Cancer Institute shows that India has a high percentage of women consuming smokeless tobacco, with 18.4 per cent women, mostly from rural areas, consuming smokeless tobacco.
During the third national tobacco conference held at Tata Memorial hospital, the report, titled ‘Smokeless tobacco and public health: a global perspective’, was released.
As per the report, more than 300 million people in at least 70 countries use smokeless tobacco, with the prevalence higher amongst youth aged between 13 to 15 years. India and Bangladesh together account for a significant 80 per cent of the total smokeless tobacco users across the globe.
The report states that lime (khaini), gutka, betel and quid are the most popular options that consumers use. Smokeless tobacco mainly comprises substances like areca nut, beetle nut, zarda, khaini, and paan masala. Experts says that it can cause oral, and pancreatic cancer along with cardio-vascular diseases.
Amal Pusp, director of tobacco program at the Ministry of Health and Family welfare, said that there is a need for combined efforts to curb tobacco use in the country. they are also looking at a total end of e-cigarettes which have currently become popular.