Friday, February 3, 2012

India Launches Anti-Tobacco Mass Campaign

The Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a tobacco control campaign through a music video ‘Life Se Panga mat Le Yaar’ sung by singer Shaan, who was earlier appointed as the tobacco control ambassador of India.

The campaign ‘Life Se Panga Mat Le Yaar’ is being aired on major radio stations like Radio Mirchi, Radio City, BIG FM and Red FM across India from January 28, 2012.

A roadside small shop selling tobacco products

Unveiling of the music video on popular national television channels like MTV, Sab TV, UTV Bindass and 9XM has begun from 1st February 2012.

The 2.3 minute track has a melody and rhythm composed by Shaan. The lyrics have been written by Rekha Nigam and the music video has been directed by Alia Sen Sharma of Chrome Pictures. The video has been co-produced by Salaam Bombay Foundation.

The music video was shot at the Kaala Chowki Basti, Parel, Mumbai. The track is very much street-music like, peppy and fast, while breaking into a catchy chorus line with the words “life se panga mat le yaar”.

The music video has Shaan dancing with children, encouraging them to take all problems in their stride and not to make things worse for themselves by consuming tobacco. Hence, tobacco use is a “panga” they can well live without.

The entire video has a very pro-life stance, is youth centric and speaks of their dreams and aspirations. The track is targeted towards youth and adolescents all over the country and sends a strong message that life without tobacco is a life worth living.

In order to implement the tobacco control laws and create awareness on the harmful effects of tobacco use, the Government of India launched the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP) in 2007-08.

National level mass media public awareness campaigns are very important component of the NTCP and as per the ‘ WHO report on Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011’ India is one of the few countries to have a dedicated budget for the tobacco control mass media campaign.

As per estimates, in India, nearly 1 million people die every year due to diseases related to tobacco use. If current trends continue tobacco will account for 13% of all deaths in India by 2020.

As per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) report nearly 50% of cancers among males, 25% among females about 80% - 90% of all the oral cancers are associated with tobacco use.

Available evidence suggests that 40% of all TB deaths are directly attributable to tobacco use. The majority of the cardio vascular diseases and lung disorders are also directly attributable to tobacco consumption.

Tobacco has also been identified as a risk factor for Non-communicable disease(NCD) and it accounts for one in six deaths resulting from NCD’s.

The prevalence of tobacco use in India is very high. As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-India (GATS -2010) conducted in the age group 15 and above, over 35% of the population in India consume tobacco in some form or other, with 47% male and 20.8% female consuming some form of tobacco.

In absolute numbers there are 275 million users of tobacco in India. Thus, India is second only to china, which has over 300 million smokers, who are mostly males.

Further as per the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS 2009) 14.6% of the youth in the age group of 13-15 years consume tobacco in some form or other. There are also studies indicating that 5500 youth in India start tobacco use every day. The rising use of tobacco among all age groups is a matter of grave public health concern.

Tobacco is the foremost preventable cause of death and disease in the world today. Tobacco is a risk factor for 6 out of the 8 leading causes of death. Globally approx. 6 million people die each year as result of diseases resulting from tobacco consumption and if urgent actions are not taken, the death toll could rise to more than 8 million by 2030.
Worldwide, every day approximately one 1 million people smoke or chew tobacco because of their addiction to nicotine and about 15000 die from tobacco related disease. (Source:PIB.02.02.2012)

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