Thirty-five per cent of Indians still use tobacco despite growing awareness and ban on tobacco product advertisement, said a tobacco control policy report released on Friday.
The report also highlighted the need for stronger tobacco control policies and a change in the current prices of tobacco products in India to create social environments that are supportive of quitting.
"Current regulations on tobacco advertising in India still allows for exemptions which created loopholes for tobacco industries to focus its marketing efforts in unregulated venues such as point of sale. There is thus an urgent need for Indian central and state governments to take strong measures to close loopholes and to act swiftly to reduce affordability of all tobacco products," said S Pednekar, director (development and research), Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health.
The Tobacco Control Policy Report is a collaborative effort of researchers at the Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health and the University of Waterloo, Canada and based on the result of survey of adult tobacco users and non-users.
"Tobacco use accounts for nearly half of all cancers among males and a one-quarter of all cancers among females and is also a major cause of cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Educating the users about the health hazards of tobacco use and effective pictorial warnings on tobacco products can help people to quit and may also dissuade others from embracing this deadly habit," said Surendra S Shastri of Tata Memorial Hospital.