Anti Tobacco campaigns led to fall of Tobacco Industry in India?

The use of tobacco may cause cancer! A lot of people have read this statutory warning, However they've never paid heed to the caution it pursues. India was one of the largest consumers of tobacco products. As a matter of fact, Tobacco products account for 40 percent of the cancer cases of India. Bidi, Gutka, Pan masala and cigarettes are some of the bestselling tobacco products that fetched maximum profits to ITC, Asia's largest tobacco manufacturing company. However, with the manifestation of effective anti tobacco campaigns, India has finally begun to witness the fall of the tobacco industry. The National Family Health Survey of India has revealed fresh data that has confirmed the fall of tobacco use among the Indians. They've quoted The Global Adult Tobacco Survey(GATS) that has recorded 47 percent fall in the consumption of tobacco in India by 2015. This change can be credited to the extensive campaigns launched by several well wishers who wished to generate awareness among the masses about the harmful effects of tobacco products they consume.

Some of the campaigns or initiatives undertaken to curb the use of tobacco are listed below: Jammu & Kashmir's initiative Voluntary Health Association of India initiated a 10 day anti-tobacco drive starting from December 2015 with the help of several tourism players from J&K. Their task was to wear anti-tobacco stickers while roaming in their cities and distribute brochures among the masses. This drive helped in creating awareness among the Valley. Burn the lighters Cancer Patients Aid Association formulated an unique campaign wherein instead of generating awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco on the human body, it focused on burning down the source of lighting a cigarette. They launched lighters that left the consumers shocked! As soon as you use the lighter, a chant begins to play which is similar to the one sung on the funeral pyre. Sunita Tomar's Video Sunita Tomar was a regular consumer of tobacco. She was more of a smokeless tobacco user than a smoking one. However, she was not aware of the warning her packet of tobacco issued. As a result, she succumbed to mouth cancer, propagated by the use of tobacco. In her 30 sec video, she narrates her ordeal and wished she had read the warning inscribed on her packet beforehand. This video was sensational and acted as an eye opener for many consumers who gave up their tobacco addiction. Ban on endorsement of tobacco The government issued a ban on endorsements of tobacco products. As a result, celebrities did not promote the use of tobacco products. Even in films, during the projection of consumption of tobacco, a statutory warning dissuading the use of the same is issued. Hike in Tobacco prices In a recent bid to control the sales of tobacco products, the Modi government has raised the prices of tobacco products. This decision was taken based on economy. A survey was conducted where in it revealed that if the prices of tobacco products increase, many will not be able to afford it on a regular basis. This would result in a sharp decline in consumption of the same. These campaigns have left an imprint on the minds of the tobacco consumers. It has given birth to a sense of fear that encapsulates the soul- the fear of what the future beholds if one does not quit smoking.
(Written by Ishita Kapai)