GUWAHATI, Aug 19 � After the Union Environment Ministry�s ban on plastic packaging for tobacco products, the Union Health Ministry�s Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has just released a notification, stating that no food article shall contain tobacco or nicotine in the products with effect from August 5. The move has been highly appreciated by the Voluntary Health Association of Assam (VHAA).
Welcoming this notification, Ruchira Neog, executive secretary, VHAA, in a press note, said, �By issuing this notification, the Health Ministry has demonstrated tremendous commitment towards safeguarding the health of the people of India and protecting the masses, especially the youths from the growing menace of tobacco addiction. This praiseworthy step will go a long way in saving lakhs of lives and reducing the Government�s spending on treating tobacco-related diseases�.
According to a health report submitted by the Union Ministry of Health in consultation with the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare on the ill-effects of chewing tobacco, there are over 3,095 chemical components in chewing tobacco products.
The report reveals that rampant use of tobacco is associated with high prevalence of oral cancer in India, and almost 90 per cent cases are linked to tobacco. India has the highest prevalence of oral cancer globally, with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancers being reported every year.
The Global Adult Tobacco India (GATS India) Survey, conducted in 2009-10, reveals that out of the 274.9 million estimated number of tobacco users in India, 163.7 million Indians use chewing tobacco.