A one-day workshop on role of public servants in making Assam a tobacco-free state was organized by Assam State Service Commission Cachar Cancer Center. This workshop included government officials from police, education, health and district administration.
Training and sensitization on tobacco control was imparted by Sambandh Health Foundation.
Speaking during the workshop Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Institute director Dr Ravi Kannan stressed the need to focus on children so that the next generation is saved from deadly tobacco products.
As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2009-10 and 2016-17, tobacco consumption has gone up in Manipur, Assam and Tripura.
In Manipur, the tobacco consumption has increased to 55.1% in 2016-17 from 54.1% recorded in 2009-10.
In Assam, tobacco consumption was 39.3% in 2009-10 which increased to 48.2% and in Tripura it has escalated to 64.5% in 2016-17 from 55.9% in 2009-10.
Statistics suggest that India witnesses around 10 lakh deaths per year due to tobacco related diseases. Further the session noted that everyday around 5,500 children initiate tobacco use.
Speaking about the scenario in Assam and Northeast India, the resource persons said that tobacco is one of the primary reasons behind high cancer prevalence in the entire Northeast.