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Indian govt launches new campaign against smoking

Jan 22, 2014

The new campaign called 'Artery' by the Indian government shows graphic harm caused due to Cigarettes and Bidi smoking.

New Delhi: A new tobacco control mass media campaign was launched this week to warn people about the effects of smoking on the heart. The campaign, called ‘Artery,’ which is being aired by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with technical support from World Lung Foundation depicts how smoking cigarettes and bidis leads to the build up of dangerous fatty deposits in the heart, leading to strokes, heart disease and heart attacks.

Smoking is estimated to cause 10 per cent of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is the second leading cause of CVD, after high blood pressure According to WHO, heart disease and heart attacks are major causes of mortality in India, and smoking is a chief risk factor. As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-India), 27.5 crore people use tobacco in India.

Each year tobacco use kills about 1 million Indians, and one in ten deaths is caused by smoking. Bidis are the most popular tobacco product used; Bidis comprise 48% of the tobacco market and cigarettes 14% in India. Bidi and cigarette smokers die 6 to 10 years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts. As per ICMR, the majority of the cardiovascular diseases and lung disorders are directly attributable to tobacco consumption.

This nationwide campaign is being aired in 17 languages for pan-India coverage. It rolled out on all major TV channels from 11th January 2014, and will run throughout January and February 2014. The campaign will run for five weeks.  According to Shri Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Health, Government of India, “Smokers need to know just how bad smoking is for the body. The ‘Artery’ campaign shows realistically what happens to the heart after years of consuming the toxic and cancerous chemicals found in both cigarette and bidi smoke.”


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