- The Statesman
- 13 Dec 2013
Kolkata, 12 December
Lack of awareness about anti-tobacco laws coupled with illiteracy has proved a serious hurdle in bringing down the tobacco consuming population of the state.
A study by the Cancer Foundation of India and the Mumbai based Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health, in four states ~ West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra ~ has found that only around 59 per cent of the people who consume tobacco are aware about anti-tobacco laws and the fines to be paid in case of their violation.
“The low awareness level is a serious block in convincing people to quit tobacco,” said Dr Pratibha Pawar, project manager of the survey.
The Tobacco Survey Data (TCD) was conducted in 10 wards of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and four villages of North-24 Parganas.
The report was complied on the comments of 2,626 respondents, including both users and non-users of tobacco.
Interestingly, more than 70 per cent of the tobacco users of the state regret the bad habit, while 90 per cent of the users support a complete ban on the display of tobacco products and its advertisements in the media.
Ms Pawar further linked the tobacco users to the level of education. She said: “The imposition of fines and the stern laws would fail to bring any ground breaking change unless the people are educated and made to know more about it.”
“The survey also shows that the level of consumption is more among the uneducated as they are hardly aware of its ill effects,” said Ms Sutapa Biswas, executive director of the cancer foundation of India.