Health ministry launches music video campaign against tobacco consumption

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s (MoHFW) tobacco control campaign has launched a music video ‘Life Se Panga mat Le Yaar‘.

The track of the campaign has been sung by singer Shaan, who was announced as the tobacco control ambassador of India in May 2011. It is targeted towards youth and adolescents all over the country and sends a strong message that life without tobacco is "a life worth living".

The campaign is being aired on radio stations like Radio Mirchi, Radio City, Big FM and Red FM across India since 28 January 2012. On 1 February, the music video was unveiled on MTV, Sab, UTV Bindass and 9XM. The track runs for 2.3 minutes.

National level mass media public awareness campaigns are important component of the National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP). As per the ‘WHO report on Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011’, India is one of the few countries to have a dedicated budget for the tobacco control mass media campaign.

As per estimates, in India nearly 1 million people die every year due to diseases related to tobacco use. If current trends continue tobacco will account for 13 per cent of all deaths in India by 2020. As per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) report, nearly 50 per cent of cancers among males, 25 per cent among females about 80–90 per cent of all the oral cancers are associated with tobacco use.

Available evidence suggests that 40 per cent of all TB deaths, majority of cardio vascular diseases and lung disorders are directly attributable to tobacco consumption. Tobacco has also been identified as a risk factor for Non-communicable disease (NCD) and it accounts for one in six deaths resulting from NCD‘s.

As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-India (GATS -2010) conducted in the age group 15 and above, over 35 per cent of the population in India consume tobacco in some form or other, with 47 per cent male and 20.8 per cent female consuming some form of tobacco. In absolute numbers there are 275 million users of tobacco in India. Thus, India is second only to china, which has over 300 million smokers, who are mostly males.

Further as per the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS 2009), 14.6 per cent of the youth in the age group of 13-15 years consume tobacco in some form or other. There are also studies indicating that 5500 youth in India start tobacco use every day.

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