Smokeless tobacco use rising in India
The use of smokeless tobacco is on the rise in India, especially among women, since it does not have the stigma of smoking attached to it, a release said here Tuesday.
As more and more women chew "gutka", "khaini" and "zarda", serious health problems like cancer of the mouth and neck and still births are increasing at a rapid pace, according to a factsheet released by the World Lung Foundation (WLF).
According to the WLF, there are many factors, including socio-economic and cultural, behind the increasing use of smokeless tobacco by women.
India has one of the highest rates of smokeless tobacco use in the world. However, although 275 million Indian adults are tobacco users, 75 percent of them consume smokeless tobacco products, the release said.
To create awareness about the perils of smokeless tobacco, the government launched a new campaign 'Tears You Apart' with technical and financial support from WLF and the Bloomberg Philanthropies in July.
The campaign graphically depicts the adverse effects of smokeless tobacco consumption through personal testimonials of victims suffering from cancer.