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Oncologists, RCC Directors seek nationwide ban on Gutka
New Delhi | Tuesday, Nov 20 2012 IST
 
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Seeking nationwide ban on the sale of smokeless tobacco products including Gutka and Pan Masala in the country, oncologists, cancer victims and the Directors of 14 Regional Cancer Centers in the country including the Indian Dental Association have written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Voicing their serious concern over the growing Gutka/Pan Masala menace, the Directors of the Regional Cancer Centers have urged the Government to take urgent action to stop their sale through stringent measures. In the letter addressed to the Prime Minister and the Health and Family Welfare Minister, they raised serious concerns over the growing menace urging action to completely stop the sale of smokeless tobacco products (specifically Gutka and Pan Masala) throughout the country. Easily available in low price pouches across the country, Gutka has become a very serious health hazard. According to health experts, India has the highest prevalence of oral cancer globally, with 75,000 to 80,000 new cases of oral cancers being detected every year.

A statement issued here today said, "The Directors of 14 Regional Cancer Centers in India, including the Indian Dental Association & Tata Memorial Centre wrote letters individually to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for implementing nation-wide ban on the sale of gutka/pan masala products in the country." The Cancer specialists, oral cancer victims and public health experts have also lauded the Government for protecting the citizens from the harmful effects of smokeless tobacco products by banning Gutka in 15 states and a Union Territory under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulation no 2,3,4 that prohibits the addition of tobacco or nicotine in food and urged it to ensure the effective implementation of this notification in all the states.

Almost one year back, the Regional Cancer Center Directors met their respective Chief Ministers and wrote to the Prime Minister to ban Gutka and 15 states and a Union Territory banned Gutka.

'Now the Directors would like to execute nationwide ban to wipe out the stigma of India being the oral cancer capital. It will save millions of youth from dying prematurely and save billions of losses on healthcare,' says Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai. More UNI RH SY RP1631 NNNN

-- (UNI) -- 20DI15.xml

 

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