A Tobacco Cessation Clinic was opened on Thursday, with representation from Centre for Health, Research and Education – U.K at North East Cancer Hospital and Research Institute, Guwahati, Assam.
Dr. Sudhanshu Patwardhan, Director Centre for Health Education and Research (CHRE), UK, Dr. RN Saran, Dean of Faculty, Life Science North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) Shillong, Dr. MN Baruah, M.D North East Cancer Hospital And Research Institute (NECHR), and Dr. Raj Cheng Kakoty, Director NECHR, were present at the conference.
Dr. MN Baruah said that the ratio of population suffering from tobacco cancer in Assam is 143 per lakh population, which was next to Mizoram. He further told that the male population was mostly prone to tobacco cancer. It comprised 48.7% of all cancers among males and 16.5% among females.
Males were more exposed to tobacco, alcohol, etc. therefore to lung, head and neck, esophagus, or oral cancer. However females have a higher risk of suffering from cervical or breast cancer, he added.
Dr. Sudhanshu Patwardhan, who had come all the way from U.K to open a cessation clinic in the northeast as it has more tobacco users compared to other parts of the country, yet cessation is minimal and rarely acceptable.
He said that the cessation clinic will act as a global leader to help patients quit smoking and also to prevent rebounds. The clinic will provide support to the family and friends of the patient and aim to bring the number of tobacco users down in a sustainable and scalable way. The clinic will not try to completely eradicate their habit, but will help them slowly replace their habits with healthier ones, he added.
Meanwhile, Assam Government is taking steps to reduce the demands & supply of Tobacco products. It is also trying to facilitate the effective implementation of Tobacco Control Laws and bring greater awareness. With the opening of the cessation clinic, many patients will be conscious as well as seek help.
Notably, Cancers associated with tobacco use constitute 33.3% of all cancers reported in India's hospital-based cancer registry, irrespective of gender. The prevalence of tobacco-use-related cancers was highest in the northeast (50.4%). Tobacco use among teenagers is also increasing rapidly. The incidents of tobacco cancer in Assam are increasing at an alarming rate.
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