Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death and disease globally, contributing to 6 million deaths every year. With strong tobacco controllegislation enacted in developed countries, leading to reduced smoking rates, tobacco companies are targeting developing countries like India, to market their products. India is the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco with 275 million tobacco users including both smokers and smokeless tobacco (SLT) users. This Tiffin Talk will highlight the disproportionate burden that tobacco use poses for vulnerable poor in India. This grim situation led the Government of India to introduce a comprehensive tobacco control legislation and the National Tobacco Control Program (NTCP). Some drastic measures are now being proposed and implemented. Australia India Task Force on plain packaging was formed to explore the feasibility of introducing plain packaging in India, to enhance the impact of the graphic health warnings for the large illiterate segment of society. The talk will provide insights from this research and also recent bold steps taken in India to ban SLT products.
Dr. Monika Arora is a public health researcher working in the area of preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) through health promotion and health advocacy. She is heading the Health Promotion & Tobacco Control division and is adjunct Assistant Professor at Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). Dr. Arora is involved in various Randomised Controlled trials and policy research on studying NCD risk factors. She is a member of various Screening Committees and task forces formed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, on tobacco control. Dr. Arora was honored with the Best Practices in Global Health Award in 2011 by the prestigious Global Health Council, for demonstrating best practice example in the area of health promotion among youth and communities. She was also honored with the WHO Director General’s Award for tobacco control on World No Tobacco Day (31st May 2012).
Dr Monika Arora and the Nossal Institute's Michelle Kermode