Monday, May 19, 2008

Tobacco, Smoking & Drinking

Excerpts from an Article (The Hindu, Dated 11.05.2008) Dr Ambumani Ramadoss, Health Minister, GoI

The figures givent in the article are really an eye opener. The way in which it was (mis) interpreted by the Media & Bollywood, its really a shame on their part. This will automatically be clear to you after going through these facts & figures once.

  • 40 % of the health problems in India are due to the use of tobacco in its various forms. Tobacco and alcohol together make a perfect recipe for early death.
  • Over a million deaths in India occur due to tobacco use.
  • According to World Health Organization (WHO) study, 15 % of school children in India use tobacco.
  • Experts say smoking scenes in movie are more effective than direct forms of tobacco advertisements.
  • 52 % of youngsters start smoking after being influenced by movies.
  • India produces the largest number of movies in the world (900 in 2001).
  • In the 1950s, 30 % of films had smoking scenes with the percentage touching 89 in 2004.
    In 1950s only villain or ‘bad guys’ smoked on screen. Now, 76 % of the smoking scenes are by heroes and lead characters.
  • Godfrey Philips Red and White Bravery Awards are given to 10 people for saving 10 lives but tobacco company causes the death of three million people worldwide annually.
  • In the past 15 years alcohol production has increased from 900 million litres to 2.3 billion litres, making India the largest consumer of alcohol in the Southeast Asian region. India alone consumes 65 % of the region’s total production.
  • The average drinking age has come down from 28 years to 19 years. Experts predict that it will further come down further to 15 years in the next 5-7 years.
  • India’s strength is its 600 million people below the age of 30.
  • 2/3 rd of India’s death are linked to tobacco, alcohol and junk food.
  • 1/3 rd of road accidents are alcohol related.
  • Rajnikant’s two latest movies are smoke free and both were the biggest hits in the history of India film industry.
  • A can of Pepsi/Coco-cola contains 5-7 spoonfuls of sugar and a packet of chips contains 500 calories.
  • WHO has also warned that India is moving from a pattern of communicable disease to non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardio-vascular ailments, and mental health disorders.
  • The India Cinematography Act, 1952 prohibits glamorizing smoking in movies.

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