Chandigarh, Jan 17 (PTI) Noting that 26 per cent of thetotal population is chewing cancer-causing tobacco, the Centretoday said it was formulating a smokeless tobacco specificpolicy.
"So far the Health Ministry''s anti-tobacco programmesrevolved around cigarettees...there is another monster as 26per cent of the population is using smokeless tobacco withpotential to create cancer," Union Health Minister Ghulam NabiAzad said inaugurating a block of HSJ Institute of DentalSciences and Hospital of Panjab University here.Quoting a survey by a reputed international agency, hesaid around 35 per cent adults of the total population weresmoking.
"It is shocking that out of this total 35 per centpopulation, 26 per cent are consuming smokeless tobacco," hesaid adding eighty per cent of oral cancer was a resultof chewing tobacco.
He said only nine per cent of the population was smokingcigarettees and bidi.
"With the smokeless tobacco having the potential tocreate 80 per cent of oral cancer, the Health Ministry isformulating a policy which is smokeless tobacco specific," hesaid.
He said according to a survey between 60 to 65 years ofage 12 per cent of population lose its teeth and more than 30per cent population lose its teeth over 70 years of age.
"Tobacco is one of the contributory factors in loss ofteeths as well," he said adding the role of dentistry wasfar behind the implantation.
He said the thrust of the Health Ministry was to producemore MBBS doctors and bring sweeping changes in the MedicalCouncil of India.
He said the Ministry had last year decided to set up10 centers of excellence in para medics.