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WHO Launches App to Help People Quit Tobacco in All Forms

  • Published
    17th Feb, 2022
Context

The World Health Organization launched  ‘Quit Tobacco App’ to help people kick the cigarette butt and give up use of tobacco in all forms, including smokeless and other newer products. 

About

About ‘Quit Tobacco App’:

  • It is first such app by WHO.
  • Also, first that targets all forms of tobacco, helps users to identify the triggers, set their targets, manage cravings, and stay focused to quit tobacco.  

Tobacco:

  • Tobacco was introduced in India by Portuguese in 16th or 17th century.
  • At present, India is third largest tobacco producer in the world after China and Brazil.
  • Four major varieties of tobacco cultivated and produced in India are:
    1. Flue-cured Virginia (FCV) Tobacco
    2. Bidi Tobacco
    3. Cigar Filler Tobacco
    4. Hookah and chewing Type of Tobacco

Tobacco Abuse:

  • Tobacco is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, and kills nearly 8 million persons every year.
  • It claims 1.6 million lives in the WHO South-East Asia Region which is amongst the largest producers and consumers of tobacco products. 
  • Tobacco use is a major risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCD) including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases and diabetes.
  • Tobacco users are also at higher risk of complication and severe disease in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Tobacco abuse in India:

  • In India, 28.6% of adults above 15 years and 8.5% of students aged 13-15 years use tobacco in some form or the other.
  • This makes the country the second-largest consumer of tobacco in the world.

Measures towards tobacco control in India:

  • India adopted thetobacco control provisions under WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
  • Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003:
    • It replaced the Cigarettes Act of 1975(largely limited to statutory warnings- ‘Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health’ to be displayed on cigarette packs and advertisements. It did not include non-cigarettes).
    • The2003 Act also included cigars, bidis, cheroots, pipe tobacco, hookah, chewing tobacco, pan masala, and gutka.

About WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control: 

  • Governments adopt and implement the tobacco control provisions of theWHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
  • It is the first international treaty negotiated under theauspices of the WHO.
  • It was adopted by the World Health Assembly(apex decision making body of WHO) on 21st May 2003 and entered into force on 27th February 2005.
  • It was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic and is an evidence-based treatythat reaffirms the right of all people to the highest standard of health.
  • TheFCTC’s measures to combat tobacco use include:
    • Price and tax
    • Large, graphic warningson tobacco packages.
    • 100% smoke-freepublic spaces.
    • A banon tobacco marketing.
    • Support for smokerswho want to quit.
    • Prevention of tobacco industry interference.
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