SHILLONG, May 30: Meghalaya ranks fifth with 47 percent tobacco users and second with 31.6 percent smokers in the North Eastern region.
According to GATS 2 (2016 -2017) Meghalaya also has the highest incidence of esophageal (food pipe) cancer in the country.
National Tobacco Control Programme (NTCP), NHM started in Meghalaya in 2013-14 under the 12thFive Year Plan.
The goal of the programme is to prevent initiation of tobacco use among youth and adults, promote quitting of tobacco use among adults and youth, eliminate exposure to tobacco smoke (second hand smoking), reduce demand of tobacco products through IEC campaigns, ban on tobacco advertisements, promotion of sponsorship (TAPS) and pack warning and reduce supply by restricting access to minors.
The Government of Meghalaya along with NTCP has taken several initiatives in implementing this program. A State Level Coordination Committee (SLCC) and a District Level Coordination Committee have been constituted comprising various stake holders from different departments.
World No Tobacco Day is being observed on 31st May, 2019 with the theme “Tobacco and Lung Health” and the main goals are to create awareness on the negative impact of tobacco on people’s lung health, from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases.
Tobacco use is the world’s leading single cause of death and one of the largest preventable causes of morbidity and mortality in the world.
Each year, 7 million people die from tobacco related causes, of which 1.2 million die in India from smoking alone. 80% of oral cancer is attributed to tobacco use.