Govt. launches anti-tobacco ads, posters featuring Rahul Dravid
New Delhi, March 5, 2015
The Government today launched public service advertisement and posters on tobacco control featuring former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid.
The advertisements and posters, prepared by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Office for India in collaboration with the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and HRIDAY, were launched by Health Secretary B P Sharma.
Mr Sharma thanked Dravid for his endorsement of the cause and said his association would inspire the youth to stay away from tobacco products.
He said the growing number of youth and women consuming tobacco in some form was a cause of grave concern, and the anti-tobacco campaigns needed to target them.
An official press release said the anti-tobacco campaign featuring Dravid was an effort by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to reach out to millions of young and potential tobacco users to encourage them to refrain from the deadly habit.
According to the Report of Tobacco Control in India (2004), nearly 8-9 lakh people die every year due to diseases related to tobacco use in India. About 50% of all cancers in men and 25% of all cancers in women can be attributed to tobacco use. It is estimated that about 90% of all the oral cancers are caused due to smokeless tobacco use.
The Global Adult Tobacco Survey – India (GATS) conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shows that 35% of the adults in the age group of 15 years and above consume tobacco in some form or the other, while 48% men and 20% women consume tobacco in some form. Smokeless tobacco is the most-prevalent form of tobacco use in India within the lower socio-economic groups and women. GATS found that more than 20 crore Indians use smokeless tobacco.
The audio and visual advertisements, in Hindi and English, along with the posters will be used to create awareness regarding the harmful effects of tobacco use through TV, radio, at schools, community spaces, railway compartments, and social media.