New Delhi: Doctors of the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), have rubbished the reports of a parliamentary panel which said that there was no Indian study to prove that the use of tobacco is linked to cancer.
Dilip Gandhi, head of Parliamentary panel on subordinate legislation examining the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 which had sought deferment of the move, had said that all studies in this regard have come from abroad and one should consider the Indian aspect too.
The Parliamentary panel "strongly" urged the government to keep on hold its proposal to increase the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco packets from 40 per cent to 85 per cent.
AIIMS runs one of the widest and busiest cancer centers in the country. As quoted by a leading daily, Dr P K Julka, head of the Clinical oncology department at AIIMS, said lung cancer was rare among women till about a decade ago, but thanks to smoking, the incidence of the disease had risen sharply.
Dilip Gandhi, head of Parliamentary panel on subordinate legislation examining the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003 which had sought deferment of the move, said all studies in the regard of cancer have come from abroad and one should consider the Indian aspect too.
“In Delhi, lung cancer is the sixth most common cancer among women,“ he added. He said it was imperative to take urgent steps to limit tobacco use in order to rein in the increasing cancer cases. The controversial comment was made by BJP MP Dilip Gandhi.
Dr P K Julka, another AIIMS doctor told TOI that cancer of lungs were rare among women till about a decade ago but due to smoking its incidence has increased sharply in the last few years.
India has the highest prevalence of oral cancer globally, with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancers being reported every year, according to a health report submitted by the Ministry of Health in consultation with National Institute of Health and Family Welfare on the ill-effects of chewing tobacco.
A recent MoHFW-WHO supported PHFI study, estimated that the total economic costs attributable to tobacco use from all diseases in India in the year 2011 amounted to a staggering Rs 1,04,500 crore - 12 per cent more than the combined state and central government expenditure on health care in the same year.