Kolkata, 17th August.  Expressing concern over the rising number of cancer patients in West Bengal Professor and Cancer Surgeon of TATA Memorial Hospital, Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi said a unified effort by everyone is needed to protect the youth from such deadly diseases. This is essential to putting a stop to the rapid increase cancer cases. On Wednesday Dr. Chaturvedi addressed the Legislative Assembly on Cancer Free West Bengal speaking on behalf of Sambandh Health foundation (SHF), Narayana Superspeciality Hospital and Voice of Tobacco Victims.    

Dr. Chaturvedi said that it is necessary to under the cause of the increasing number of cancer cases from west Bengal to stop it. Although various research initiatives are taking place around 50 % of the Cancer cases are due to the consumption of tobacco in some form or the other. This makes it essential to protecting the youth. The first thing that has to be done is to stop the reach of these products. Around 1.53 lac  people are dying every year in West Bengal which is why it is necessary to enforce the laws that have been setup.

Finance Minister Dr. Amit Mitra has said that cancer prevention medicines are very costly and all MLA's and doctors need to come together to raise their voice against this. 

Cancer from tobacco and cardio and other related diseases cost around 3.440 crores rupees which is is a huge amount.  


Voice of Tobacco Victim’s partner Narayana Superspeciality Hospital’s Cancer Specialist Dr. Sourav Dutta pointed out that apart from the various tobacco products, liquor, Supari and obesity are also a cause of increasing cancer cases in the world. Although it is common knowledge that tobacco use causes cancer, very few people know that drinking liquor and chewing supari also causes cancer.  According to the Global Adult Tobacco survey 36.3% (around 2.5 cr.) people in West Bengal Consume tobacco in some form or the other. He said that in West Bengal 430 children and youth start the use of tobacco everyday whereas 5500 start the use of tobacco in India everyday most of whom get addicted to it before reaching adulthood. The average age of boys who start smoking is 17 years whereas for girls the average age is 14 years. Only 3% of tobacco users are able to quit tobacco which makes it even more important to stop the use of tobacco in children.

On an average the life time of a smoker decreases by 22 – 26 years when compared to that of a non-smoker. According to GAT’s 2010- India a majority of deaths occur due to tobacco related diseases from the number of diseases which can be cured or stopped. Globally one out of every 10 people dies because of tobacco use. One fifth of the total deaths in the world due to tobacco use is in India. An estimate by the World Health Organization puts the total user of tobacco to 22 crores by the year 2050.

He also said that use of tobacco increases the chances of suffering from neck, stomach, Hepatic and throat cancer. A majority of the cases due to tobacco use is lung and blood cancer the treatment of both of which is not only costly but also complicated. A report from indian Medical Research (IMR) says that tobacco is the cause behind cancer in 50% of males and 25% females out of which 90% are suffering from Mouth cancer. Smokeless tobacco contains around 3000 different chemical compounds out of which 29 can cause cancer. A majority of mouth cancer patients are from India which are mostly due to the use of Gutka, Khaini, Cigarettes.

The West Bengal govt. should regulate the use and distribution of tobacco products which is causing the deaths of lakhs of people in the state every year. These are not only disrupting families but also costing the govt. a lot of money.     

During the program cancer patients Niladri and Babul told the  MLA's of their hardships due to the disease.

 Many MLA's asked various questions regarding Cancer and tobacco use. these mostly included questions on supari and cancer and detection of cancer prior to the disease. These questions were answered satisfactorily by Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi.  

Sanjay Seth, Trustee, Sambandh Health Foundation suggested that the state government should implement the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) strictly in the state so that tobacco products remain out of reach of children. It’s necessary for all the modern and progressive states to implement tobcco control laws strictly to improve the health of their citizens


During this Minister of State, Family Welfare SMt. Chandrima Bhattacharya, Bidhan Sabha Speaker Shri Biman Banerjee, Shri Haider Ajiz Sewi, Shri Abdul Manan, CPM Minister Shri Sujan Chakrabarty, Health and Family Welfare Committee Chairman Dr. Nirmal Majhi, Nirmal Ghosh and more than 100 other MLS's were present. Membrs of Sambandh Health Foundation and representatives from Narayana Super speciality Hospital were also present.