Smokeless Tobacco – A Major Cause for Concern in India

Friday, May 29, 2015

Wrapped inside betel leaves and placed in the corner of the mouth, chewing tobacco has been a practice in India for centuries.

While there is certainly an increased awareness in terms of the harmful effects this could have on health, the medical fraternity is very much concerned about the growing number of cancerous lesions in the mouth.

The prestigious scientific journal Lancet has placed India at the second position -next to China – in terms of those consuming smokeless tobacco. Read about how 90% of the world’s smokeless tobacco users are from South-East Asia!

Various forms of loose-leaf chewed tobacco are commonly consumed in the Indian subcontinent. Smokeless tobacco use is particularly prevalent in India, Bangladesh and among women in Thailand.

What is less known to most people in India is that more than 4,000 different chemicals have been found in tobacco and over 60 of these chemicals are known carcinogens.

Almost 30 percent of the Indian population older than age 15 use some form of tobacco. Men use more smoked tobacco while women are more likely to use the chewed variety.

In case of paan with tobacco, the main ingredients of paan are the betel leaf, areca nut (supari), slaked lime (chuna), and catechu (katha).

Source: The Health Site (link opens in a new window)

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