An expert noted that tobacco was responsible for 40 per cent of cancers in Kerala.

news Monday, April 04, 2016 - 18:19

Health experts have made a joint appeal to all political parties to include tobacco control as a public health measure in their election manifestos.

Addressing a press conference here, Vice Chairman of Tobacco Free Kerala and Director of Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) Paul Sebastian said, "Investing in tobacco control is primarily investing in public health." 

"It is an assured way for preventing non-communicable diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure, which are major threats to Kerala's public health," he said.

He further noted that tobacco was responsible for 40 per cent of cancers in Kerala.

Quoting 2011-12 figures of a WHO study he said, "The economic burden on healthcare resources in Kerala from tobacco use was Rs 1514 crore a year, which far outstrips tobacco tax revenue of Rs 315 crore." 

Epidemiologist and Former Additional Director of Health Services (Public Health) A S Pradeep Kumar said, "We request all political parties to include strong and strict implementation of Indian tobacco control law COTPA, 2003; protecting non-smokers including women and children from the harms of second-hand smoke along with educating them on harms of tobacco use, in their election manifestos." 

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.