IMPHAL, May 31: Manipur is among the three states with maximum bidi smokers, the largest killer in India than all other forms of tobacco combined, according to a Union health ministry report on the occasion of the ‘World No Tobacco Day’ which was observed in the state today.
The day was observed today by the Manipur Voluntary Health Association, VHAI Wangkhei on the theme ‘Tobacco-free youth’ supported by WHO and VHAI, New Delhi at its conference hall in Wangkhei.
According to the Union health ministry report Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim have the maximum bidi smokers which was one of the largest killers in India.
While there were various campaigns and awareness drives against cigarette smoking, no one seemed to mention bidis, which apparently were the biggest killers, it said.
Bidis kill 6,00,000 people in India every year. Nearly 85 per cent of the world’s bidi tobacco is grown in India. According to a study done by the health ministry 70 per cent of tobacco smoked in the country is in the form of bidis.
The fallout is deadly with cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus and lungs together accounting for 75 per cent of tobacco related cancers in the country.
“The mortality rate from bidi smoking is much higher than cigarette smoking and overall mortality rate from tobacco smoking is even higher,” said the editor, Bidi Smoking and Public Health, Prakash C Gupta at New Delhi on the eve of ‘World No Tobacco Day’.
The day was also observed by the Manipur Voluntary Health Association, VHAI Wangkhei on the theme ‘Tobacco-free youth’.
Speaking as chief guest, Mainpur legislative Assembly Speaker, S Budhichandra stated that one-third of the total population of the globe died of tobacco consumption.
Since 1987 ‘No Smoking Day’ had been observed and then it was observed as ‘No Tobacco Day’ to suit the times.
He also emphasised the need for making the children of age range 10 to 15 tobacco free.
Youth is the time for adventure and at this stage they want to do or taste whatever they want. So parents and guardians should take utmost care of the youths.
He also said that once Manipur was a place where people were mostly infected by TB which is also caused by consumption of tobacco in different forms.
Consumption of tobacco not only hurt the health but also affected the economy of the family, Budhichandra stated adding that economic stability, political stability and good health were the basic foundations for development.
MLA RK Anand who presided over the observation said that smoking and tobacco were very common among school and college going children.
While stating that Manipur was also among the states of the country which had the highest number of smokers, Anand observed that it could be due to lack of awareness and determination that people were unable to leave tobacco and smoking.
He further observed that parents smoking in front of their chidlren created a bad impact on them.
Anand also said that the existing drug problem in the state was also having a bad effect on the Manipuri society.
O Joychandra, deputy director, health and family directorate who spoke as resource person, said that in Manipur a person spent Rs. 36 per day in consuming tobacco.
He also said that out of the total children below 16 years of age who smoked most started before attaining the age of 10 years.
In conection with the observation, prizes of the state level poster competition which was conducted in two categories were distributed to the position holders.