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Health Ministry launches stop smoking campaign

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In a bid to make people aware about the harmful effect of smoking, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, recently launched a national media campaign. The campaign titled “What Damage Will This Cigarette/Bidi Do,” launched at a World Health Organisation event. It prodded smokers to think about how cigarette or bidi smoking are making them vulnerable to fatal diseases like heart attacks, cancer and lung disease.

Talking about the campaign, Dr Nandita Murukutla, Vice President, Global Policy and Research, Vital Strategies, said: “We congratulate the Ministry of Health on this powerful campaign. According to the latest Global Adult Tobacco Survey, more than 90 percent of current adult smokers are aware that smoking and exposure to second hand smoke causes serious illness.

“This campaign graphically shows the specific, proven harms of tobacco smoke, prompting smokers to think about making the healthy choice to quit. Vital Strategies is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Health in delivering this campaign,” Murukutla said.

“What Damage Will This Cigarette/Bidi Do” encourages smokers to quit tobacco by highlighting its harmful effects. The campaign will achieve pan-India reach and it will be broadcasted in 17 languages on all major national government and private TV and radio channels.

It will be supported by a comprehensive social media campaign and will run on major digital platforms including Youtube, Facebook, Hotstar and Voot.

According to The Tobacco Atlas, more than nine lakh Indians die due to tobacco-related diseases every year. Research suggests that implementing strong tobacco control measures to reduce tobacco use could avert 25 per cent of cases of heart attack and stroke in India. Strong tobacco control would also help to reduce the incidence of cancer in India: nearly 45% of all cancers among males, 17% among females and more than 80% of oral cancers are directly attributable to tobacco use.

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