Greater Noida, Nov 7 Aiming to curb the huge economic burden caused by tobacco and diseases related to it, Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Tuesday called for the prevention of Tobacco use among children and teenagers, a habit which claims one million lives every year in India.
"We still have a long way to go in terms of preventing the millions deaths caused by tobacco both in India and other parts of the world. There is a huge economic burden on people due to the tobacco use, which needs to be prevented," said Nadda at the inauguration of the COP 7 WHO FCTC.
Reiterating that India is fully committed to WHO's aim to halt the tobacco consumption, he said that in many parts of India tobacco is part of the socio-culture, a major cause behind its increased consumption.
"This is the land mark year for tobacco control in India as it has implemented the 85 per cent pictorial warning from April this year. There is now a complete ban of the pan masala and chewing tobacco," said Nadda.
India is hosting the six-day-long COP 7 Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Convention, world's biggest Convention of Tobacco Control policies, for the format time in India.
It will bring together the WHO FCTC's 180 Parties (Nations) - which includes almost every country in the world, as well as regional economic integration organisations like the European Union.
Nadda said WHO FCTC rules are the strongest tool to curb the tobacco use in the world.
"We are committed to every plan and programme to curb the tobacco use and the diseases caused by it," he said.
COP 7 FCTC signals a strong and generous commitment of the Government of India to increase international co-operation and awareness of the WHO FCTC globally and especially in the WHO South-East Asia Region.
The Convention will review the implementation of the WHO FCTC and the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.